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BTP Federation to welcome Special Constables

21 Sept, 2020

British Transport
Police Federation
Sept 21, 2020

BTP Federation to welcome Special Constables

BTPs Special Constables will be able to join BTP Federation from January 2021. Delegates, who are elected to represent Federation members, debated whether to extend membership to the Special Constabulary at a meeting held on 16 September.

The meeting was organised to deal with the rule changes and motions which should have been debated at the Federation's conference in March. That event was cancelled due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The motion to allow Specials to join the Federation was carried with 63% of votes in favour of the decision.

Chair of BTP Federation, Nigel Goodband, said:

"BTP's Special Constables are extremely committed to supporting our members, dedicating many thousands of hours of their time each year. Over the last six months, during the coronavirus pandemic, their work has been even more visible and crucial.

Specials face the same dangers and challenges as our members and should have access to the same representation, protection and support. BTP has 317 Special Constables who last year (2019) volunteered 95,250 hours.

The news has been welcomed by Ben Clifford, BTP's Special Constabulary Chief Officer. He said:

"I'm delighted that our Special Constables will now be eligible to become members of the BTP Federation. As fully warranted officers, facing the risks and challenges associated with frontline policing, it's welcome that they will be able to access the welfare, support and benefits of the Federation.

"Our Specials work hard to support the force's regular police officers serve the public and this important development reflects that role."

BTP Federation was established under the Railway Transport and Safety Act. No amendments to the Act are required to enable Special Constables to join the Federation.

Over the coming weeks the Federation will produce materials which will explain the change and set out the support that will be available to Specials, including the option to join the Group Insurance scheme.

Other motions debated at the meeting focussed on matters of officer welfare and wellbeing. A report from the meeting will be circulated shortly, along with background information on each motion and rule change.