Some notable dates from our history.
The BTP Journal announces the first arrest
made in the force using a 'walkie-talkie' radio.
15 October 1959
The first British Transport Police
Headquarters is formally opened in Coronation Road, Park Royal,
The British Transport Commission is disbanded and the word
'Commission' is dropped from the name of the force, which becomes
the British Transport Police. The force loses jurisdiction over
British Road Services and the British Inland Waterways Board.
31 August 1963
William Owen Gay becomes Chief
William Owen Gay retires and is replaced by Eric Haslem.
Force Headquarters moves to 15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1. The
building is the former headquarters of Express Dairies.
Kenneth Ogram becomes the new Chief Constable of the BTP.
Associated British Ports decides to no
longer use the services of BTP.
18 November 1987
A fire on an escalator at King's Cross Underground station results
in the death of 31 people. BTP officer PC Stephen Hanson suffers
24 April 1989
Desmond O'Brien OBE, QPM,
becomes the new Chief Constable of the BTP.
The first edition of BTP staff newspaper The Blue Line is
published. Edited by Simon Lubin, it replaces the BTP Journal
published since 1948.
Superintendent Joyce (London Transport Area) exchanges duties with
Deputy Chief Bohrer of the New York City Transit Police; the first
international exchange involving BTP.
Special constables reintroduced to police the railways. Paid
special constables had previously been used during war years.
19 September 1997
Seven people are killed in the Southall Train Crash.
David Williams QPM, LLB becomes the new Chief Constable of the
The BTP Freefone number 0800 40 50 40 is launched.
The Midland-Metro, a tram system linking Birmingham and
Wolverhampton, starts operation. This is the first tram system to
be policed by BTP.
BTP website is launched.
5 October 1999
Thirty-one people are killed when the driver of a local train
misses a signal and is hit by a Paddington-bound express
11 May 2000
The 28km of the Croydon Tramlink
is opened and policed by BTP.
17 October 2000
Four people are killed at the
Hatfield Train Crash which was caused by a broken rail.
28 February 2001
The Selby train crash. A
Land Rover driven by Gary Hart comes off the M62 onto the railway.
It is hit by a passenger train which collides with a freight train
killing 10 people.
1 May 2001
Johnston CBE, QPM becomes the new Chief Constable for British
Commencing with London Underground Area, officers are issued with
yellow high-visibility tabards as opposed to the orange ones.
11 December 2001
British Transport Police jurisdiction is extended in the
Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act to effectively cover all of
England, Scotland and Wales.
10 May 2002
A faulty set of points south of Potters Bar station in
Hertfordshire causes the derailment of a northbound train. The last
carriage overturns and becomes lodged under the station canopy. Six
passengers are killed as is a pedestrian walking nearby who is
struck by debris.
A series of four one-hour television programmes called Rail Cops is
shown on BBC. It follows the duties of several British Transport
BTP introduce its first mobile custody unit as part of anti-robbery
operation in Stratford, East London. The unit has six cells and can
be taken anywhere around the capital to support operations against
crime and anti-social behaviour.
6 November 2004
Seven people die at Ufton Nervet level crossing when the 17.35
First Great Western to Plymouth collides with a stationary
13 December 2004
The first BTP Community Police Support Officers are recruited in
Liverpool and London.
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