19 January 2016: Lord Empey moved Amendment 53A under Clause 42: Policing of railways and railway property
during the debate:
Lord Faulkner of Worcester (Lab): This has been a remarkable debate, and I am sure that British Transport Police officers will be delighted by the degree of support expressed for them in all parts of the Committee, starting with the splendid speech from the noble Lord, Lord Empey, who was followed by the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth.
I shall correct one thing the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, said. He said he thought the force had been around since the 1850s. That is not right. The force was started in 1825, in the earliest days of the railways. It predates a great many of our normal civil forces. The reason the railway police were formed in the first place was because criminals discovered that by getting on the new-fangled trains they were able to get away from the scene of the crime much quicker than they could by any other means. It was therefore necessary to have a force that was able to operate across county boundaries and country borders.
I find it extraordinary that this proposal to lose that ability should come forward now... read more.....