A former RAF officer will be the new chair of the British Transport Police Authority (BTPA).
Ron Barclay-Smith, who served in the RAF Regiment, was chosen following an independent selection process and has been appointed for a 4 year term from 5 March 2018.
He will chair the BTPA Board which holds the British Transport Police (BTP) to account to make sure the service upholds passenger safety and security on an increasingly busy transport network.
Mr Barclay-Smith is currently a non-executive director at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. He has also held various chief executive roles, including in the legal and health sectors, and has chaired a variety of organisations, including Veterans Scotland. He served in the RAF Regiment from 1972 to 1991, including 3 operational tours in Northern Ireland.
Rail Minister Jo Johnson said:
I should like to thank Mark Phillips for his contribution during his period as interim chair of the BTPA.
Ron Barclay-Smith has a wealth of experience and will provide vital and strong leadership for the BTPA over the next 4 years, as we invest in the biggest modernisation programme of the railways since Victorian times.
We have one of the safest railway networks in Europe and BTP officers play a vital role in keeping the travelling public safe, so it is vital we continue to give them the support they need to do that job.
Mr Barclay-Smith said:
I am delighted to have been appointed and I look forward to working closely with colleagues and staff at the authority, the Chief Constable and officers of the BTP, and the many stakeholders involved in the railway system in our country.
This is an exciting time for the railways as passenger numbers increase and a huge modernisation and development programme takes place. It is therefore a critical time for policing on the railways, and we need to ensure that investment is targeted in the right areas and front-line policing is sustained and supported effectively.
The BTP is a specialist, national force that provides a service to rail operators, their staff and passengers. It also polices other networks – the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, Croydon Tramlink, Sunderland Metro and Glasgow Subway. It has around 3,000 police officers and around 600 PCSOs and special constables. The BTPA was established in 2004 to improve the public accountability of the BTP.