Welcome to the website for the British Transport Police Federation

Chair responds to Policing the Pandemic report

11 January, 2022

British Transport
Police Federation
January 11, 2022

Chair responds to Policing the Pandemic report

A new report concludes police responded well to the early operational challenges of the pandemic, keeping core services running at a time when other public services often struggled.

Policing the Pandemic is a joint report by the crime and justice consultancy, Crest Advisory, and the Police Foundation, the UK's policing think-tank.

The research also found:
  • The way police officers have dealt with people during the pandemic, through the '4 Es' approach, has strengthened public goodwill
  • Even though police recorded fewer crimes, they did not appear to get extra time to proactively investigate more serious offences because increases in non-crime demand, much of it linked to Covid-19, off-set reductions in offending
  • Police in England and Wales issued significantly fewer fines per person than forces in southern Europe, but at similar levels to countries in northern Europe
The study highlights what survey respondents described as "widespread anxiety due to policing the unknown" and uncertainty on what protective measures to take to minimise the risk.

A summary of Policing the Pandemic and a link to the full report can be found here.

Chair of BTP Federation, Nigel Goodband, has responded to several key aspects of the report, particularly the impact of the pandemic on police officers. He said:

"I am pleased the report recognises the anxiety of policing the unknown. From a health and wellbeing perspective, officers weren't prioritised for vaccinations, there were initial problems with the supply of crucial protective equipment and social distancing was simply impractical in roles which, by their very nature, require close contact with the public.

"BTP officers were on the frontline of enabling key workers to travel to work safely and enforcing COVID legislation on the network. Regulations changed at least 65 times in just over a year and this had a huge impact on our colleagues.

"Interpreting and implementing the legislation, policies and guidance for officers has been cited by those interviewed and surveys for this report as the greatest challenge of the crisis. Being on the ground and explaining, educating, encouraging and enforcing the legislation brought its own difficulties.

"Long hours, abstractions due to illness and self-isolation and personal concerns in terms of wanting to do the right thing at work while also being mindful of their health and that of their loved ones left our colleagues fatigued.

"While the pandemic isn't over yet, it is important that the police service reviews its external response and internal processes and a big part of that must focus on how we look after those on the frontline of policing such crises. These are conversations we will be having with BTP."