Drugs: Organised Crime

Home Office written question – answered on 30th November 2021.

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Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of enabling the British Transport Police to access train operating companies' on board CCTV in real time for the purposes of tackling county lines drug trafficking.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

This Government is determined to crack down on the county lines gangs who are exploiting our children and have a devastating impact on our communities.

We are aware that rail networks remain a key method of transportation for county lines gangs. As part of our County Lines Programme investment, we have increased disruption on the rail networks through the British Transport Police’s (BTP) dedicated County Lines Taskforce. BTP work collaboratively with national police forces and rail industry partners to grip the national rail network, providing targeted disruption to help tackle the lines and safeguard vulnerable individuals involved in this exploitative and violent model of drug distribution.

The Department for Transport has no plans to mandate BTP being able to access on-board CCTV on trains, but BTP are currently in the process of connecting to real-time forward-facing train cameras with several operators. This is being delivered this financial year with the ambition that, if expected benefits are proved, this would be rolled out across the industry.

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