Keith Jarrett

Following a career in engineering, Keith Jarrett joined BTP on the 29 March 1993. After the initial 15 weeks at Cwmbran Police Training College he was posted to Aldgate BTP police station where he served until the completion of his two year probation. Keith said the he did not have an easy time initially, and would have resigned within four weeks of joining had it not been for some advice from his father and the support of friends from the Metropolitan Police Service. He recalled that he was kept busy and focused on the bigger picture and so assisted in the formation of the Black Police Association and later the National Black Police Association UK.

Once he became settled, Keith started to assist with recruiting more Police employees from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities as at the time BTP had only 27 Officers from BME backgrounds.

This picture was used in a BTP recruitment campaign in 1996

Keith said ‘I believe that the public needs to see that Police Officers from BME backgrounds are not only being recruited but that they are also being progressed and are in specialist roles also as this will aid retention’.  With this in mind, as soon as he was able, Keith did a secondment on A82.

A82 secondment

In April 1997 Keith was seconded to Wembley Park police station, it was there that he was on mobile patrol with two other officers on Friday 19 September that he attended the Southall train crash. His patrol arrived at the same time as another BTP patrol from Hammersmith. Consequently, Keith was the first BTP supervisor on scene. With the others, they set up the cordons and commenced the process of identifying who was who as there were a lot of injured passengers walking around. Keith recalled one man approaching him who identified himself as the driver of the passenger train. The male gave Keith a first account of what happened. Keith kept the male with him until a DCI arrived and the male was taken to Southall Met Police station.

In January 2000 Keith moved to West Ham police station and assisted with the setting up of the custody suite. Also during that time BTP was in the process of implementing the recommendations from the McPherson Inquiry and he was asked by Chief Officers Group to assist with the setting up of a support group within BTP. Following consultation with BME employees on the formation of the support group, Keith wrote the constitution, coined a suitable name Support Association for Minority Ethnic staff (SAME) and helped to launch the organisation.

In 2003 Keith was one of seven BTP employees who were qualified to deliver diversity and inclusion awareness training and he went on to provide training to BTP employees until August 2005.

On the 7th July 2005 Keith was in the foyer in the BTP Tavistock HQ when the bus exploded in Tavistock Square he made his way to the site and was the second Police Officer on scene. He assisted with moving the walking wounded round to the BTP building as well as assisting in directing traffic away from the blast and aided the entry and egress of emergency service vehicles to the site. Later he was the liaison officer between BTP and Network Rail. Keith said ‘this was the most emotional weary that I have ever been and this one incident brought back to mind all the other fatality incidents that I have been involved in, and yes when I eventually got to bed at about 23:00 that night I cried’.

In September 2005 Keith was elected President of the National Black Police Association where he served until 2008. He returned to the BTP as L Area Diversity and Inclusion Officer.  Again, he engaged in several community events.

Community event

Keith set up BTP’s Youth IAG which was one of only 2 advisory groups made up of young people in the whole country. For the 2012 Olympics Keith worked as the BTP Supervisor at the Park Operation Control in the Olympic Park. Afterwards he went back to the NPT at West Ham.

Keith retired as a police Officer in July 2014 and in August same year he returned to BTP as a Communications Officer in the Force Control Room London where is today.