Thameslink introduces new team of rail enforcement officers
Thameslink and Great Northern are improving the security at stations and on-board rail services by introducing a team of 22 rail enforcement officers (REO).
They will be patrolling the route between London St Pancras, Elstree & Borehamwood, Luton and Bedford.
The officers will have police radios and are set to be issued with body-worn CCTV cameras.
They are qualified with specific legal powers that will allow the confiscation of alcohol and cigarettes from young people.
They can also request names and addresses for fixed penalty notices and offences likely to cause harm or distress to another person, or cause damage to their property or acting in an anti-social way.
Adam Dear, rail enforcement manager, said: “There is very little crime on our railways but it’s important to provide our passengers with a reassuring presence. Our REOs are an active force against low level crime and anti-social behaviour.”
The idea for rail enforcement officers came from Southern and Gatwick Express, which have a similar group of officers known as rail neighbourhood officers, patrolling their part of the network.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is sponsoring 20 employees to become Special Constables on these two routes and the Thameslink and Great Northern routes.
The Specials have the same policing powers as any full-time police officer.
Security manager Tony Holland is spearheading the special initiative within GTR and has become a Special.
He said: “This demonstrates our commitment to provide a more secure environment for passengers and rail staff which is all about reducing the risk of people becoming the victims of crime.”