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Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003

Section 28: Exercise of powers by civilians

72.Section 28 provides that the provisions of the Police Reform Act 2002 that relate to police powers and duties conferred on civilians shall apply to the BTP. As a result the Chief Constable will be able to designate suitably skilled and trained employees of the Authority who are under his direction and control as different types of civilian officers with certain powers and duties. The powers and duties are detailed in Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002. Such civilians can be designated as: community support officers; investigating officers; detention officers; and escort officers.

73.Powers which can be conferred on community support officers include the power to issue a range of fixed penalty notices relating to anti-social behaviour; the power to request a name and address from a person committing a fixed-penalty offence or behaving in an anti-social manner; and the power to detain, for a limited period awaiting the arrival of a constable, a person who fails to comply with the request to give their name and address.

74.Powers which can be conferred on investigating officers include those that would be needed to support the work of civilian investigating officers in specialist areas, such as financial crime, and are mainly linked to entry, search and seizure. They include the right to apply for and be granted search warrants under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984; and the power to execute warrants, to enter property and to seize and retain things for which a search has been authorised.

75.Powers which can be conferred on detention officers include the power to require defined categories of persons to attend a police station to have their fingerprints taken; the power to carry out non-intimate searches of persons detained at police stations and to seize items found during such searches; and the power to carry out intimate searches in the same limited circumstances that are applicable to constables.

76.Powers which can be conferred on escort officers include the power to transport arrested persons to police stations, and between a police station and another location specified by the custody officer. An escort officer can also be placed under a duty to prevent a detainee’s escape.

77.By virtue of section 28(2)(f), civilians designated by the Chief Constable will be able to carry out their functions in any place in England and Wales where a BTP constable has jurisdiction under section 31(a) - (f). This includes, but is not limited to, railway stations and track. They will also be able to operate outside the railways elsewhere in England and Wales if the matter is connected to the railways.

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