Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged ministers to review the British Transport Police’s arrangements for carrying detainees after it emerged none of the force’s custody vans are fitted with CCTV cameras.
The lack of cameras stands in stark contrast to the Met which, unlike the BTP’s London operations, is overseen by Mr Khan.
Two years ago the force fitted cameras to its entire fleet of 129 vans, a move which ensures detainees are monitored while being transported to custody suites and that officers are protected from spurious complaints from those they’ve arrested.
Alongside the vans’ CCTV, the presence of cameras in and around custody suites and the Met’s adoption of body worn cameras means a prisoner’s entire time with officers is captured on video.
In response to an FOI from this site, BTP last week revealed none of its vans are fitted with the cameras and said it relied on “observers” to ensure the well-being of detainees.
The force has so far not responded to several emails seeking confirmation of whether these “observers” are BTP officers or other members of staff.
Serving and past members of the London Assembly have called on the BTP to follow the Met’s example and fit cameras to the vans and now the Mayor has called on Ministers to look into the matter.
Mr Khan’s spokesperson told this site: “Transparency is key to public trust and confidence in the police.
“He urges the Home Secretary and the Transport Secretary to ensure measures are in place to ensure they are transparent and accountable, as is the case with the Met Police.”