The British Transport Police: An Illustrated History

BTP Illustrated History

After months of waiting we are pleased to announce that the new book is published this week on Thursday 15th October 2015.

Written by BTPHG member Richard Stacpoole-Ryding, and assisted by fellow members Ed Thompson and Rob Davison, it draws from the rich photographic history of the BTP and its forebears. We thank Richard and his team for all their hard work. This is the first book on the history of the force since Pauline Appleby’s ‘A Force on the Move: The Story of the British Transport Police, 1825-1995’, published twenty years ago.

From the book jacket:

“The British Transport Police has the most diverse history of any police force in the world. It can trace its origins back to 1826, and is made up from over 240 railway, dock and canal forces. Early railway companies maintained their own police forces, but following the First World War these smaller companies were amalgamated into four large companies. In 1948 following the nationalisation of the transport infrastructure the force took responsibility for policing the railways, ports and canals as the British Transport Commission Police, the first national police force in the United Kingdom. The BTC was dissolved in 1963 but the force remained as the British Transport Police.

From the beginning the force has been at the forefront of policing innovation such as being the first force to use dogs, employing women as uniformed officers, the introduction of a computerised crime reporting procedure and the first to use technology to arrest a murder suspect. Although diminished in size and areas of responsibility since privatisation of the UK transport infrastructure, the force has moved with the demands of modern policing. This book is an illustrated history of this unique force working to keep the travelling public safe.”

Richard Stacpoole-Ryding served in the British Transport Police (1972 – 1979), before pursuing a career in H. M. Prison Service. He has been published in military and medal journals at home and abroad and had the book ‘Maiwand: The Last Stand of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment at Afghanistan 1880’ (History Press), published in 2008.

The book has a RRP of £14.99, but is currently available direct from the publishers Amberley Publishing at £13.49*. It is also available from Amazon, and can be ordered from as they say ‘all good book shops’.

*History Group members have already been advised on how to order this book at a special discount.

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