British Transport Police

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A British Transport Police motorcycle in London

The British Transport Police (BTP) is a national police service for the railway system throughout Great Britain. The service is also responsible for policing the London Underground system, the Docklands Light Railway, the Midland Metro and Croydon Tramlink. They are not, however, responsible for policing the Glasgow Underground or the Tyne and Wear Metro. The service has 2,206 regular police officers, 129 special constables and 667 support staff throughout England, Wales, and Scotland. Northern Ireland does not have an extensive railway system, and responsibility for policing remains in control of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The British Transport Police can trace its history back to 1825, to the origins of the police service in Britain. It was judged that the railways needed their own police force to protect the transit of cargo and passengers. At one time every railway company had its own police force, but these were amalgamated on the formation of British Rail in 1948. Predating the arrival of the railways, there were also some instances of 'canal police' employed by canal companies to keep order along their transport links - the Grand Surrey Canal employed "bank rangers" from 1811.

British Transport Police officers are constables with the same powers as members of territorial British police forces. They do however, limit their activities to the railway network and those other networks listed above as well as crime near or on land owned by the networks. Their uniforms and rank system are similar to other British police forces, with male constables and sergeants wearing helmets. Officers often wear distinctive black jerseys with a black and white diced pattern on the yoke and carry rigid PR-24 side handle batons (as opposed to the extendable batons carried by most other British police forces).

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