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BTP makes bid for Home Office funding due to mainstream role


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The British Transport Police (BTP) has asked the Home Secretary for a share of the funding for the 20,000 uplift.


Nigel Goodband, chair of BTP Federation

Date - 21st February 2020
By - Chloe Livadeas

BTP's Chief Constable Paul Crowther has asked the Home Office for a share of the funding for the territorial forces' 20,000 officer uplift.

BTP’s funding comes from the Department for Transport and train operating companies.

But Chair of the BTP Federation, Nigel Goodband, said that officers were “short on the ground” and the crimes the force deal with warrant an additional contribution from the Home Office.

He said: "We are now very much engaged in other items of policing: county lines, counterterrorism, territorial policing. So some of these things cross over with Home Office forces and we work in concert with each other. But we don't get any of the funding that comes out of the Home Office to deal with that. And the train offering companies will have a different mind-set of what they expect from us.

“We have been at the coalface of the terrorist attacks in recent years and we don't get a penny off the government for counterterrorism.”

He added: “We’re part of the bigger policing family and we deserve a slice of the cake too.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Government is delivering on the people’s priorities by giving policing the biggest funding increase in a decade and supporting forces to recruit an additional 20,000 extra police officers over the next three years.

“Since their inception, British Transport Police has been funded directly by train operators, but they do receive support through specific Home Office funded initiatives, such as the National County Lines Coordination Centre.”

The Home Office have provided £3.6million to the National County Lines Coordination Centre which includes a BTP element.

Mr Goodband think the Home Secretary has already “set the benchmark” for providing further extra resources to BTP by recognising the issue of county lines.

Non-territorial forces fall outside the College of Policing’s PEQF officer degree scheme. BTP made the decision to make holding a degree a part of their recruitment requirements last year, but suspended this because of retention and recruitment issues.

The force plans to reinstate it in September this year.

Mr Goodband said he had “mixed-feelings” about officer degree requirements,

He said: “If the government don’t change the way they treat policing currently, particularly the pay scales for the frontline officers, why would you be a police officer with a degree? You’d go to a private industry that are going to pay a damn sight more than policing where you’re not going to get spat at, verbally abused or work shifts.”

Mr Goodband also said it could have the potential to create a less diverse force, something the police has been criticised for “many times over”.

“In the policing world we want to represent our communities. You don’t want to introduce things that close the door on certain members of the community”, he said.

He went on to say: “I don’t have a degree and I’ve been in policing for 29 years. A degree isn’t going to help you when you’re out there and having to make a split second decision on something happening right on your toes. A degree will help you if you’re seeking promotions and to climb the ranks where you’re more of a manager than a police officer.”

“Anyone with a desire to make a difference and help people is a good basis for becoming a police officer.”

Mr Goodband said the three year apprenticeship scheme “isn’t a bad idea” because new recruits are “learning on the patch”.

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To say I have mixed feelings on taking more money than we do from central government is an understatement. 

For a counter terrorism perspective sure hand over the cash as BTP does some sterling work in this field BUT I do feel the way in which BTP is funded has kept is somewhat more focused on crimes and issues that impact the people we serve directly. 

I wouldn't want to lose that style of policing as it is somewhat unique in today's modern world. 

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