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"Everyone should avoid public transport if at all possible" - Latest BTP statement

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Statement

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Assistant Chief Constable Sean O'Callaghan said: “The message is clear – everyone should avoid public transport if at all possible.

“Our officers are out and about across the rail network, focusing their time at stations where they are most needed. At some of the busier stations you may see more officers than usual. They’re there to help keep passengers and rail staff safe – helping get people to where they need to be safely.

“If you don’t need to travel by rail or Tube, then don’t - and if you do need to, give yourself plenty of time. Perhaps speak to your employer and stagger the times you would normally go to and from work and avoid rush hours where possible. We all have a role to play in keeping the rail network safe.

“Our policing approach remains the same. Our officers will be engaging with passengers and staff and will only use enforcement if absolutely necessary.

“No-one should underestimate the immense logistical challenge facing the rail industry and its staff as it works to keep people who need to use the network moving. They’re taking extra steps to ensure people stay safe including aiding social distancing and keeping overcrowding to a minimum. These steps mean everyone is going to have to get used to a new way of travelling.

“In line with government guidance, you may see our officers wearing face coverings when on routine patrol. They’ll be wearing them when they themselves feel it is necessary – for example in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible.

“We will of course also continue with our business-as-usual policing during this unprecedented time – countering terrorism; reducing delays and disruption; preventing and detecting crime and identifying and helping vulnerable people in crisis.

“And we will continue to conduct operations – such as County Lines – to tackle organised crime, catch offenders and bring people to justice.

“All of us – passengers, rail staff and our officers – want to be safe when we’re working and using the rail network and we need to support each other so we can all do the right thing. The responsibility to keep everyone safe is one everyone shares.”

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