The Jewish Police Association

As part of our focus on the history of Support Groups within the BTP, our Chairman (Elect) Mike Layton reached out to the Jewish Police Association.

Dan Levy, Chairman of British Transport Police Jewish Police Association responded: “Our recent newsletter gives a brief introduction into the BTP JPA, which is a branch of the national JPA. It also details what we have done this year. The BTP JPA was formed in November 2019 with Barry Boffy and myself.”

The text of the newsletter can be found below, or the full document can be found here as a PDF: BTP JPA Newsletter 2020


BTP JPA Newsletter 2020

As we approach Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, we wanted to take a look back at our first year which has clearly been busy. Unfortunately the official launch event of the BTP JPA, which was scheduled in April to mark the Festival of Passover, was postponed due to Covid 19. However, we hope to arrange a new date when things hopefully calm down. We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe New Year.

The BTP JPA was launched in November 2019. The BTP JPA was created to raise awareness and understanding of the Jewish faith, provide operational guidance to officers and staff, and celebrate Jewish festivals. JPA is also open to those who do not identify as Jewish, but want to show their support to the Jewish community, work in partnership and learn from it. As Barry Boffy, BTP’s Head of Inclusion & Diversity commented, the creation of the BTP JPA was indicative of a hugely successful year for BTPs Employee Support Associations; almost doubling in number (we now have ten distinct networks) and really embedding themselves into strategic & operational decision-making across England, Scotland & Wales.

Chanukah Party

The first BTP JPA event was the annual Chanukah party at New Scotland Yard in December 2019, run by the National JPA. This was an excellent first event for the BTP JPA, it was was a hugely enjoyable event and a great opportunity to meet officers and staff from other Forces and people from the wider Jewish community. Tasty kosher food was served whilst some wonderful music was being played.

Barry Boffy said “The last of my engagements for 2019, and indeed this decade, I was delighted to join Commissioner Cressida Dick at last night’s Chanukah celebrations at New Scotland Yard. BritishTransport Police employees joined colleagues from City of London Police & the Metropolitan Police to celebrate Chanukah. The event was open to community members too from Jewish communities across London, and culminated with the ceremonial lighting of a menorah by community leaders and one representative from each of the three police services protecting Greater London in a symbolic act of solidarity. I was really proud to watch as Daniel Levy, founding Chair of BTP’s Jewish Police Association (JPA), was given the honour of lighting the menorah on behalf of BTP, alongside the Met Police’s Commissioner; only a few months after taking on the Chair role and launching the Association.”

Antisemitic Hate Crime Awareness Day of Action

On 22nd January 2020, officers from Paddington station held an Antisemitic hate crime awareness day of action. Based on the main concourse of the station, the officers had a stand where members of the public were encouraged to ask questions about Antisemitism and share any experiences that they had, as well as ask for advice and pick up relevant leaflets and keyrings etc. The event was deemed a successful community engagement initiative and further events will be planned in the future.

BTP Paddington tweeted “Antisemitism has been called ‘the longest hatred.’ It’s persistence is not doubted. Today we are raising awareness of Antisemitic hate crime in our hate crime day of action.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Our next major event was attendance at Holocaust Memorial Day, run by the National JPA, on 27th January 2020. The event was held at the prestigious and historic Hampstead Synagogue. The Deputy Chief Constable, Adrian Hanstock, along with B Divisional Commander Martin Fry, were in attendance, along with members of the BTP JPA and other BTP Police Staff. We were proud to stand together to remember all those affected by genocide during this event. Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Neil Basu, spoke at the event, along with a selection of other speakers.

On the same day, Special Constable Stephen Kurtz, a member of the BTP JPA, represented BTP at the Stevenage Holocaust Memorial Event. It was hosted by the Mayor of Stevenage at the Council offices.

House of Lords Holocaust Memorial Day 2020

On 29th January 2020, we attended a keynote speech and discussion at the House of Lords, to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Aushwitz-Buchold and Holocaust Remembrance Day. Barry Boffy said, “I was honoured to meet with the United Nations’ Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, at an event at the House of Lords this week; who reflected on our collective and individual responsibility to take action, saying: “We have fallen very, very short of the 1945 expectation of ‘Never Again’. Genocide prevention is a collective responsibility. We need to be prepared for new challenges and to think creatively.” I can’t help but agree with Mr Dieng, as I think back to April 2017 and what looked and felt like the start of the systemic dehumanisation of LGBT people in Chechnya. Then the roundups and incarcerations began as a result of an “anti-gay purge”, quickly followed by further claims of abuse, torture and murder. As far as we can tell this may still be happening, even after the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (O.S.C.E.) published their report on alleged human rights violations as far back as December 2018. So, a reminder to everyone that rhetoric is nothing without action. We must ALWAYS do more than just say Never Again.”

ESA Chairs Summit

On 6th February 2020, the Chairs and Deputy Chairs of BTP’s Employee Support Associations attended the bi-annual Chairs Summit. This was an all-day away day for them to network; working together to better support ALL BTP employees, no matter who or what their needs are. Barry Boffy said “We’re lucky to have a wealth of employee networks at British Transport Police, all offering welfare support to our employees. When employees need their help we *could* just refer them to any one of the 10 distinct support networks; all of who will offer support in one particular area. Or, we could work a little smarter and get all of our networks to work collectively, and in collaboration with each other, to better support those with intersectional identities. We’ve chosen the latter approach. I am hugely grateful to Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE for facilitating the day, and for really challenging them in their thinking and their genuine commitment to the welfare support of our employees. It was an added pleasure to welcome the BTP Federation and TSSA (staff union) reps too, all with the aim of offering a seamless support service; recognising the value of sharing casework, knowledge and best practice. Thank you.