Specialist Teams


Policing at Heights Teams

The Policing at Heights teams were set up to undertake a range of tasks including searching at heights, removing protesters and discarding of flash advertising.

Territorial Policing and Support Unit (TPSU)

The TPSU oversees our local Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), Railway Safety Accreditation Scheme and Special Constabulary.

Counter Terrorism Support Unit (CTSU)

The CTSU consists of the following multi-disciplined teams:

Ø       Explosive Search Dogs Section

Ø       General Purpose Dogs Section

Ø       Armed Policing Capability

Ø       Special Movements Section

Ø       Specialist Response Unit


Police Dogs Unit

Our police dogs provide a vital supporting role to reduce crime throughout the UK. They are trained to track suspects from crime scenes, chase and detain offenders, search for property at or near crime scenes and search for missing persons. They can also detect explosives, drugs, cash and firearms.

The Police Dogs Unit is broken down into three sub-sections:

Central Operations General Purpose (GP) Dog Section

Outer-London Police Dogs

 Explosives Search Dog (ESD) Section


Armed Policing Capability

Following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and based on the current threat from International Terrorism being at “substantial” BTP created its own Armed Policing Capability.

Since 2012 key locations have been routinely patrolled by our highly trained armed policing officers. They are supported and are able to support colleagues in surrounding Home Office Forces upon request.

The safety of the public and staff is of paramount importance and these officers form part of the Counter Terrorism Support Unit who carry out high visibility patrols providing reassurance and a visible deterrent against terrorism on the railway.


Special Movements Section

Special Movements Section, whose main role is to provide policing support to the Royal Train, VIPs and strategic military movements by rail. They work in partnership with the Royal Household, MPS Royalty Protection group, other police forces and the rail industry. They also offer guidance about counter terrorism to areas and police stations.

Specialist Response Unit (SRU)

SRU officers are police officers first. They deal with other incidents on the railway, including robberies, thefts and fatalities. However, their additional training and skills mean they can respond to specific incidents when needed.

They respond to reports of unattended items on the railway. They assess packages, bags and ambiguous substances such as unusual smells, powders, liquids and chemicals.

Specialist Unit, Specialist Equipment

Our SRU is unique within British policing because of the broad spectrum of incidents that they respond to.

They use mobile 3D X-ray machines to examine unattended items. And, in the unlikely event of a chemical incident, SRU officers wear chemical resistant gas tight suits and deploy a hapsite to analyse the atmosphere and establish what specific chemical has been used. Our chemical agent monitors were designed for the military – they tell officers whether a substance is a threat or not


Public Protection Unit  (London North)

This unit was set up to help officers to co-ordinate activities around suicide prevention, child protection, domestic violence prevention, sex offender management and mental health liaison for London North area.

Public Protection Unit  (London Underground)

This unit consists of the Sexual Offences Unit and the Workplace Violence Unit.

Sexual Offences Unit

This unit investigates incidents of sexual assault or some cases of Outraging Public Decency on the Underground.

Workplace Violence Unit

This unit has specialist knowledge of Honour Based Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking offences and the DASH Risk Assessment Model. They collect statements, provide stills and storyboards from CCTV for London Underground staff crime.

Disaster Victim Identification (DVI)

Since the Potters Bar crash of 2002, a great deal of work has been done in Britain and internationally to improve DVI.

Part of BTP's strategy in dealing with body identification after a disaster has been the deployment of a body recovery team. This is made up of officers from different areas who come together when the need arises.

Family Liaison Officers (FLOs)

Our FLOs are specially trained to provide a two-way flow of information between bereaved families and our investigation teams. They help support the family through the police investigation, answer questions and gather important information about the person who has died.

After a fatality on the railway, it is vital to gather a full picture of what happened as soon as possible, so that we can establish the cause and circumstances of their death. Our FLOs help us to do this in a way that is best for their family and friends.

Witness Care Unit

Each Witness Care Officer acts as the single point of contact for a victim or witness. They assess the individual needs of a victim or witness and update them or the officer in charge about the progress of the case.

They also make arrangements for the victim or witness to attend court if they are required to give evidence, and refer them to external organisations if they need more support.


Scientific Support Unit (SSU)

The SSU is responsible for recovery, collection and submission of items for forensic examination and identification. They comprise of several departments, all providing specialist advice and guidance to officers at all levels on forensic matters.

Hi-Tech Crime Unit (HTCU)

The HTCU is responsible for retrieving electronic evidence from digital devices, such as computers, mobile phones, SIM cards, memory cards, satellite navigation, USB devices, digital cameras and gaming consoles for use in court. They also provide technical advice and support to other officers working with digital media.

Force Technical Support Unit (FTSU)

The FTSU provides covert technical equipment and expertise to assist with the prevention and detection of crime or disorder. For example, they can provide listening devices. They support and work in partnership with the Area Technical Support Units (ATSU).

CCTV Intelligence Unit

This was set up in 2005 to monitor the 15 mainline London terminals for intelligence-gathering purposes and to help Officers with ongoing operations, live monitoring and pre-planned events.

Economic Crime Unit

The Economic Crime Unit is made up of three specialist units who deal with different aspects of financial crime across the force, these include; corruption investigations, payment fraud and major fraud.