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2005-03-24 DfT-001
Department for Transport

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Darling - new cash boost for British Transport Police


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Department for Transport



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Department for Transport

Darling - new cash boost for British Transport Police
_______________________________________________________________


date
24 Mar 2005 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release



Transport Secretary Alistair Darling today announced a new 30 million three year capital funding settlement for the British Transport Police as he opened their new London South Headquarters. This will enable the BTP to:

* Install modern communications equipment
* Renew voice and data networks
* Continue standardisation of information systems with other Police forces
* Implement a vehicle replacement programme and purchase additional counter terrorism vehicles

Alistair Darling said:

"The 30 million package in its first year alone more than doubles this current year's allocation. This sharp increase in investment is a recognition of the huge pressures the force now faces.

"The funding package alongside the decision by the Authority to increase its own resource budget will give the force better communication equipment, improved links with other police forces and greater strength to deal with terrorism."

The new London South area Headquarters which Alistair Darling opened today will be based at Ivason House in London Bridge. It will be responsible for policing stations and trains in south London and the southern Home Counties.

The new building will improve communication by bringing together functions such as the Crime Management centre, the Operations Department and Case Building Team. The move also frees room elsewhere for the additional police officers and Police Community Support Officers which have recently been recruited.

Over three floors, Ivason House, formerly part of Guys Hospital, houses the:

* Area Commander and senior team
* Crime Management Centre, where all reported crimes are input and tracked,
* Case Building Team, which conducts follow up enquiries on crimes * Central London Operations Department
* CID
* Crime Reduction Department
* Training Department
* Human Resources and Finance Departments
* IT Support

Alistair Darling added:

"It is crucial that the London South BTP have good facilities in which to conduct their work as a quarter of recorded crime and almost half of all robberies occur in this region.

"Even with such a tough area the BTP has actually done remarkably well with robberies down and the detection rate up on last year. However, passengers and staff deserve better and I am now convinced the force has the right finance and structures in place to give people the freedom to travel more safely and securely."

Notes to Editors

1. The Government provides Capital funding for the force which is on top of their regular income from industry. Today's Capital funding settlement amounts to 12.5 million in 2005-06; 10 million in 2006-07; and 7.5 million in 2007-08 - a total of 30 million.

2. The new BTP London South Area HQ is at Ivason House, 8a London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG. The Area HQ has moved from Ebury Bridge, SW1. That building, which houses Custody and Identification Suites, is now reverting to its original purpose as an operational police station covering south London stations, including the London termini at Charing Cross, London Bridge, Victoria and Waterloo.

3. The British Transport Police covers the rail system across Britain including London Underground and some tram networks. The London South Area covers National Rail stations in south London, Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, including the Croydon Tramlink.

4. 46% of robberies in Britain on the rail system are reported in the London South Area. In the year to February 1,008 were reported (down 17% on 2003/04) and the detection rate was 32%, up six percentage points.

5. The new BTP Authority was formally established in 1 July 2004 to oversee and strengthen the standing of the force, and to bring it more closely into line with Home Office police forces. The setting up of the Authoritywill set in stone many of the operations which the old BTP Committee performed gives the while at the same time giving the Factual force a much broader mandate to carry out its duties. It is also directly accountable to the democratically appointed Secretary of State for Transport.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk



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