Appointment of Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner

by Phil Trendall

Fraser Sampson

History in the making….

For the first time an ex-BTP officer has been appointed as the Surveillance Camera Commissioner AND as the Biometrics Commissioner. Both posts were created under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and are high profile public appointments. Dr Fraser Sampson will take up his work later in March 2021. The Home Secretary said: “It is vital the government works to empower police to use technology to keep the public safe while maintaining their trust and Fraser Sampson’s extensive experience in law and policing makes him the right person to take up this role.”

Fraser joined the BTP in the early 1980s and served in the North East Area. He was later seconded to the Home Office Central Planning Unit at Harrogate (now the College of Policing) where he worked as a legal researcher specialising in the application of the criminal law in operational circumstances. He returned to the force and later, in 1992, became an Inspector at the Tadworth Force Training Centre. His work included introducing many innovations in training as well as leading the training team in their own development. His time at Tadworth coincided with a particularly active PIRA campaign so he led operational deployments in the south east when required. He returned to Leeds as an Inspector and was later seconded back to central service. He left the force as a superintendent in 1996. After BTP he qualified as a solicitor working in the area of police law. He wrote several of the Blackstones Police Promotional Manuals and is a prolific author. He became Director of the Civil Nuclear Police Authority and went on to carry out similar roles with West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire Police. During his time at Tadworth he offered support to officers who were working to preserve and collect material relating to the history of the force. We wish him well in his new job.

Official Announcement:

Penny Post

Embed from Getty Images

This photograph appeared on Facebook the other day, and I felt it worthy of highlighting. A policeman stands beside a Royal Mail coach at Waterloo Station.

This is an embedded image, but there are many other photos in our gallery.


History of Women in BTP

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month and the BTP is taking the opportunity to celebrate women in the railway police.

It is especially fitting as this month sees the appointment of the BTP’s first female Chief Constable, Lucy D’Orsi.

The BTP History Group were pleased to be able to assist the BTP Communications Department in this endeavour.  BTP will be sharing regional highlights on various social media channels – keep an eye out.

Also see:

Policewomen on the Railways 1917 – 2017

Policewomen in Pictures


20th Anniversary of the Great Heck Rail Crash


There will be two Memorial Events for the 20th Anniversary of the Great Heck Rail Crash on Sunday 28th February 2021.

The 20th anniversary of the Great Heck Rail Crash will be remembered with commemorative events taking place at Newcastle upon Tyne Central Railway Station, the Great Heck Memorial Garden, and in Selby Abbey.

National coronavirus regulations and lockdown restrictions in England severely limit what is legally permissible, so these acts of remembrance will be live-streamed.

More details on this HistoryBank page: GH20



Tony Thompson advises that the Great Heck 20th anniversary memorial service on Sunday went well.

If you missed it here is a link

Chief Constable Paul Crowther retires

Chief Constable Paul Crowther CBE

Last week the Chief Constable, Paul Crowther, retired from BTP after 40 years of service.

All at BTPHG wish Paul a happy and productive retirement.

A presentation was held on 5th February at FHQ to mark the occasion.

Photos and videos of the event have been posted to this page: Chief Constable Paul Crowther retires

Annual General Meeting 2021

Sadly, due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak we will be unable to hold our Annual General Meeting as we would normally do in March.
Therefore we are going to have to do things a lot differently this year. In line with the Constitution the committee have agreed to hold it via email.
(Full details will be circulated to members in the March edition of History Lines).

BTPHG Secretary, Bill Rogerson M.B.E.

New Book

Another new BTP related book has been placed on our Virtual Bookshelf.

This time from our very own Secretary, Bill Rogerson M.B.E.

Old Bill

Old Bill’s Tales of the Railway Old Bill

Forty Nine Years of Working for the British Transport Police (1971 – 2020)


“Interested in the reality of policing? Interested in railways? The heart-warming tale of the life of a British Transport Police Officer and steadfast community worker. Bill looks back at his 49 years working with the British Transport Police working as a warranted officer, a civilian and a volunteer, which was sometime humorous and sometimes serious. Unlike a lot of police related stories, Bill’s is not one of high-speed car chases, high level drug busts, shooting bank robbers and the like, but details the everyday life of an ordinary railway copper, policing Britain’s railways in England, Scotland Wales and on the high seas to Ireland, along with a couple of trips to the Netherlands. There are some gentle humorous memoirs from Bill contained in the book including his experiences of teaching well over one million school children on the dangers of the railway. Why not purchase the book to relive Bill’s tales.”

The book is available to purchase now from Amazon.

This is not Bill’s first book, having co-authored two books – ‘Police Dog Heroes‘ and ‘The Hooligans Are Still Among Us‘ – with Michael Layton.


DCC Hanstock awarded Queen’s Police Medal in 2021 New Year Honours List

DCC Adrian Hanstock

The Deputy Chief Constable of the British Transport Police (BTP) has been awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2021 New Year Honours for his substantial contribution to UK policing over a 37-year career and his unwavering focus on keeping more than 3 billion passenger journeys safe each year.

Adrian Hanstock joined BTP in 2014 as its Deputy Chief Constable (DCC), becoming a trusted and highly respected senior leader both with colleagues in the force and stakeholders across the railway industry.

He has provided outstanding operational leadership, whether tackling serious crimes, safeguarding vulnerable people or in response to major incidents. DCC Hanstock has also overseen the transformation of BTP and its investment in modern digital capabilities, enhanced approach to crime investigation and has embedded improvements in force standards.

He has been active in strengthening the diversity of the force and has driven improvements in wellbeing services available for frontline officers and staff.

Before joining BTP, DCC Hanstock had a distinguished career at the Metropolitan Police Service in which he led highly sensitive operations to combat gun crime and organised drug trafficking, as well as taking operational control on each day of the 2012 London Olympic Games, ensuring international competitors, dignitaries and spectators could travel safety between Olympic venues and around London.

For eight years he has been the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for the use of stop and search powers and provides guidance to police leaders across the country, setting operational direction that has delivered better operational outcomes and enhanced community confidence. He has influenced policy at government level and introduced national guidelines to support the effective and fair use of this police power.

DCC Hanstock is also a founder trustee of the Railway Dogs Benevolent Fund, a charity established to provide welfare support for retired police dogs.

Chief Constable Paul Crowther CBE said:

“I’m very proud to see Adrian’s commitment recognised by Her Majesty in her New Year Honours awards. Adrian has made a substantial impact to UK policing and is an inspirational role model who consistently delivers beyond what is expected. His dedication to policing for more than 35 years, with a clear focus on protecting the public, is of the highest order and I am pleased to see this recognised in the Honours List.”

Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock QPM said: 

“I am thrilled to receive this honour. The announcement is a wonderful surprise and to be awarded a QPM is an incredible privilege.

“The past year has presented some unimagined challenges however I am fortunate to work with some talented individuals and teams who every day dedicate their lives to protecting the public and seeking justice for those targeted by offenders, let alone tackle the extraordinary issues that 2020 presented.

“I would particularly like to acknowledge their exceptional professionalism and dedication to public service in accepting this award, as well as express my gratitude for the outstanding support of family and friends over the years.”

Source: BTP

See also: Honours, Decorations & Medals table

New Entry in the Virtual Bookshelf

Today, we have a new book on our virtual bookshelf, just a reminder that we already have quite a collection on the shelf, but we are always looking for new entries.


Operation Cabinet


by Paul Kenyon

Paul Kenyon tells the factual story of how as a young Detective, he helped mastermind a police operation that saw the demise of a group of International, Liverpudlian based Burglars, who plundered their way throughout Europe and beyond.

The investigation was codenamed Operation Cabinet.

As well as working with a number of other forces in the investigation, Paul also worked alongside his ex-British Transport Police colleagues and they are featured prominently  in the book.

An ideal read for the long dark winter evenings.

Published by Discovery Publications UK

ISBN 9781838535049

228 pages. Softback.

Price £8.45 available from Amazon

Paul is an ex BTP officer joining in Liverpool in 1971. He was on the same initial Home Office recruit courses at Bruche, Warrington and then at Tadworth with Bill Rogerson. He then left to join the newly formed Port of Liverpool Police in 1976 as a Detective Constable.

Paul has very generously agreed to donate a percentage of any profit from the sale of the book to the British Transport Police Welfare Fund and the North West Police Benevolent Fund. 

Season’s Greetings

Okay, so perhaps not so merry a Christmas this year, but nevertheless a seasonal greeting from all of us at the BTPHG 🌲.
And let’s look forward to a much happier New Year!