British Transport Police Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock announces his retirement from policing after more than 37 years’ service
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Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Adrian Hanstock has made the decision to step down in the New Year, having served in three different police forces, and for the last six years running the operational and governance functions of Britain’s only national public-facing police force.
DCC Hanstock said: “I have been privileged to serve with some extraordinary people in remarkable and challenging environments, working with the best of the best. Having already worked beyond my expected retirement date after agreeing to an extension last year, I believe that now is an appropriate time for me to step aside and make space for the next generation of talented and committed people who can bring their own style, ideas and approach to current operational and leadership challenges.
“It has undoubtedly been the pinnacle of my career to lead the dedicated police officers, staff and Specials who work with our industry partners operating across England, Scotland and Wales to collectively ensure that the millions of people that pass through our care each day are protected and reassured by British Transport Police’s (BTP) specialist, highly-responsive policing.
“The last six years have presented me with some unique policing challenges, not least of which were the terrorist attacks in London and at Manchester Arena, the tragedy of the Croydon tram crash, addressing a range of ethical and governance challenges and most recently the extraordinary national step-up required to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That said, after nearly four decades spent protecting the public and experiencing the unpredictable highs and lows of a lifetime in policing, I feel I’m at a point where I need to make just one more tough decision, and this is it.”
In response to the announcement, BTP’s Chief Constable Paul Crowther said he had been “very fortunate to have such an enthusiastic, open-minded and passionate” deputy during his term in office.
He added, “Adrian deserves enormous praise for the exceptional leadership and vision he has shown to BTP over the last six years – as a highly experienced operational commander, a leader of transformation, a front runner for professionalism and a champion for inclusion. I am extremely grateful to Adrian for his dedication and true commitment to the Force, our workforce and for his public service.
“On a more personal note I am also indebted for his wise counsel and support, and I wish him all the very best for the future.”
British Transport Police Authority Chairman Ron Barclay-Smith said: “Adrian was already a very experienced senior police officer when he joined BTP in 2014. BTP officers and staff have since benefited from his leadership and wisdom and he has been instrumental in driving up the professionalism and reputation of the Force since that time.
“The Police Authority has greatly appreciated Adrian’s work with partners in the rail industry. His overall contribution has been huge, and his departure will be keenly felt by the Authority, his colleagues, officers, staff and by industry partners alike.”
DCC Hanstock has agreed a flexible date for his last day of service to help support the induction of the new Chief Constable and the selection of the new Deputy.
Biography – Deputy Chief Constable, Adrian Hanstock
Born in Nottinghamshire, Adrian Hanstock began his career as a Criminal Records clerk with Nottinghamshire Constabulary where he was fascinated by details of crimes and investigations set out in archive crime reports he was asked to research.
He became a police constable in 1985 just as the national miner’s strike ended and patrolled the beat in Sutton-in-Ashfield, a small mining town in north Nottinghamshire where he was first introduced to the challenges and rewards of community-based policing.
Working his way up through the ranks, earning a reputation both as a committed detective and forward-thinking leader, he transferred to the Metropolitan Police Service in the late 1990s where he led highly sensitive operations to combat gun crime and organised drug trafficking, as well as enquiries into serious sexual offences.
Following a period leading policing in the Borough of Enfield in North London, he attended the Strategic Command Course at Bramshill Police College, becoming a Commander in 2011.
Mr Hanstock held a significant role during the 2012 London Olympic Games taking operational control each day ensuring international competitors, dignitaries and spectators could travel safety between Olympic venues and around London throughout the Games.
He has been the National Police Chiefs’ Council strategic lead for Stop and Search since 2013, using his considerable diplomacy skills when balancing the significant operational challenges and appreciable community interests invoked by use of the powers.
Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Hanstock has provided an experienced and influential voice in deliberations between Chief Officers, government policy makers and community interest groups in this often-contentious area of operational policing.
Mr Hanstock joined British Transport Police (BTP) as DCC in 2014 and has become a trusted and highly respected senior leader, both with colleagues in the force and stakeholders across the railway industry.
In his resignation letter, Mr Hanstock said he hoped that “…at a time of great change to the leadership of BTP, as well as the current debate on future structural arrangements for the railway industry, I sincerely trust that careful and considered focus will be given to sustaining, and indeed enhancing, the unique, specialist functions carried out by BTP’s officers and staff who display extraordinary compassion, professionalism and responsiveness each and every day.”
But above all, he said, policing had been “exciting”, “challenging” and “on occasions, enormous fun” and added that he was looking forward to exploring new options that might in some small way emulate those experiences.
He added, “I would like to thank the Chief Constable, Paul Crowther, for his support and skilful insight, my chief officer team colleagues for their continuing commitment and energy, and particularly I want to pay tribute to the fantastic officers and staff of BTP for their enduring dedication and unrelenting sense of duty in protecting the public”.
Mr Hanstock is a Chartered Company Director and a graduate of the FBI Executive Leadership Programme. He will continue his role as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Railway Dogs Benevolent Fund, that supports the wellbeing and care of ex-police dogs, which he helped found.
British Transport Police Authority’s (BTPA) Chairman Ron Barclay-Smith described DCC Hanstock’s leadership as “unique and unequivocal” adding “your professional impact and personal commitment to safeguarding the public has had a significantly positive effect, both in the force and with our national partners.”
Details of the procedure to recruit the next DCC will be announced by the BTPA.