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Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003

Section 36-45: Police Regulations

86.The Home Secretary has powers under the Police Act 1996 to make regulations regarding the government, administration and conditions of service in Home Office police forces.

87.These regulations do not apply to the BTP. Instead the SRA, as employer of the force, applies similar provision to BTP constables through other means, notably conditions of employment and Force General Orders. Sections 36 (Police regulations: General), 37 (Police regulations: special constables), 38 (Police regulations: cadets) and 39 (British Transport Police Federation) enable the Authority to make regulations that are consistent with the equivalent regulations that apply to Home office police officers. Such BTP regulations may only differ from the regulations made under the Police Act 1996 to meet the specific needs of the Force.

88.Section 40 provides that the Authority can only make regulations if the Chief Constable and the staff associations have approved the draft. Any such regulations would also need the prior approval of the Secretary of State. This will ensure that the regulations proposed by the Authority do not differ unduly from regulations made under the Police Act 1996.

89.Section 42 enables the Secretary of State to make statutory regulations in relation to the BTP. This power would be used sparingly in circumstances where the Authority is unable to make regulations itself. These regulations would override any incompatible provisions of the regulations made by the Authority. The Secretary of State would be required to consult the Authority, the Chief Constable and BTP staff associations before making such regulations.

90.Sections 44 (equipment) and 45 (procedure and practice) enable the Secretary of State to make statutory regulations under powers in the Police Act 1996. These regulations may extend to Scotland, even though the Police Act 1996 covers only England and Wales. This is to ensure that BTP equipment and procedures are harmonised across all the BTP’s areas of operation.

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