Connex has become the first major employer in the country to
sponsor staff to become Special
Constables to help to improve security on the railways.
A group of British Transport Police (BTP) Special Constables
will be given their first official duties today by Transport Minister, John
The fifteen Special Constables are all Connex employees –
drivers, conductors and station staff, who were successful in being selected to
become members of the BTP.
The initiative to improve security for passengers and
railway staff by increasing the number of British Transport Police has been
launched by Connex South Eastern and the BTP. Connex is giving them time off
work to assist police on BTP’s London South Area, and a bonus payment of £1,000
in recognition of the commitment they’ve given. During this time as BTP
Constables they will be managed solely by the BTP.
Their intensive training period is now over and Connex will
release them from their normal tasks to work for 200 hours a year – equivalent
to four hours each week. They can also put in more hours in their own time.
Connex Chief Executive, Olivier Brousse, said: "The aim
of this initiative is to support the BTP and help improve police presence by
adding the knowledge of our staff to local communities. This will undoubtedly
help combat crime on the network, which will benefit passengers and staff
alike. I’m glad to see that our staff have proved that their commitment to the
railway could go beyond their daily jobs.’’
BTP chief constable Ian Johnston said: "This is a
groundbreaking partnership between the police and a major employer. Special
Constables are an important element in our strategy to maximise police
visibility and effectiveness. I hope this initiative with Connex will become a
model for other employers in the rail industry and beyond."
Transport Minister John Spellar said: "This scheme will
add significantly to the BTP’s fight against crime in South London. It shows
the railway industry working closely with the BTP to deliver real benefits for
passengers by making our trains and stations safer. We will be looking for
other operators to take the same positive attitude as Connex and I hope this is
the first of many such schemes."