Protect every journey

Specialist teams

About the roles

From our Police Dog Unit that tracks suspects and recovers evidence from crime scenes, to our Specialist Capabilities Department and Family Liaison officers, our many specialist teams give us the assets to protect every journey in every way.

When we have opportunities for experienced officers, we only consider individuals who have successfully completed their probationary period. We look for professionalism, a can-do attitude and a positive outlook and in return you can expect an exciting and diverse working environment like no other, where each day will be different and challenging. We pride ourselves on rewarding you with opportunities, support and the recognition you deserve.


Specialist Capabilities

Specialist Capabilities consists of the following multi-disciplined teams, who are able to deploy Force-wide at high profile events on a national scale, to support local employees with incidents that occur on the Rail Network affecting passengers and businesses alike:


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, search for missing persons and support our highly-trained Armed Response Vehicle Teams with their Firearms Support Dogs.  They can also detect explosives, drugs, cash and firearms.

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

  • General Purpose (GP) Dog Section, supplying support to Public Order and Firearms Teams
  • Outer-London Police Dogs
  • Explosives Search Dog (ESD) Section.


Armed Policing Capability

We operate our own Armed Policing Capability. Key locations across the Network are routinely patrolled by our highly trained Authorised Firearms officers. They are trained to recognised nationally accredited standards and are able to support employees in Home Office Forces across the country when needed.

The safety of the public and railway staff is of paramount importance and these officers form part of our wider Specialist Capabilities.  They carry out high visibility patrols providing a response capability, reassurance and a visible deterrent against both terrorism and armed criminality on the railway.


Special Movements Section

The Special Movements Sections 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 and Specialist Protection Group, other police Forces and the rail industry to facilitate these moves.  They ensure that they occur uninterrupted, safely and with the minimum of disruption to the wider rail network.


Specialist Response Unit (SRU)

SRU officers are Police Officers first. They support their employees on Division by responding to 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. Their assessment skills allow them to negate potential hazards and reduce needless delay and disruption. Conversely, their specialist analysis can escalate incidents earlier and more safely, mitigating the danger to passengers and rail staff, should the need arise.


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. 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 poses a threat or not.


Project Servator

Our highly trained teams deploy in both uniform and plain clothes at key sites across the country working to the national Project Servator aims and objectives. They are adept at spotting those who are out of place and may be actively evading police or rail staff contact. Our DEOs (Disruptive Effects officers) are able to operate with all of our specialist teams and have been key resources in our efforts to combat County Lines issues, keeping passengers and staff safe and protecting vulnerable persons.

Positive action

At BTP we are proud guardians of the railway and it is crucial that we represent the diverse communities we serve and protect. As ‘One BTP’ across the UK, we know that diversity, inclusion and belonging help us improve our decision making, foster creativity and drive innovation so all our people can thrive.

Our vacancies are open to everyone and all appointments are made based on merit. So that we can become more diverse we encourage applications from candidates from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds, women, people who have a disability, those who are neurodiverse and persons who identify as LGBTQI+. We use positive action to encourage potential candidates from underrepresented groups through targeted workshops or advice sessions. If you have the skills, experience and values that here in BTP we pride ourselves on then we would welcome you to apply.

For more information on Positive Action please click here or email the team on



When you re-join or transfer to us, you’ll have to attend an induction course that lasts two weeks and three days at our training centre in London. This course will cover all of the mandatory Police Officer training including Personal Safety, First Aid and Track Safety.

If your new role is within a specialist team, then your division will provide any further training needed. Re-joiners may be asked to complete additional training if after assessment, it is decided that you have been away from policing for an extended period of time and your training needs are not covered sufficiently within the induction course. This will always be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

We’re committed to your continued development and career progression and will give you all the support you need. In fact, you’ll attend various internal and external training courses so that you can develop the skills you need to progress through the ranks.

The Application Process


Your application will initially be screened to ensure that you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Once this has been satisfied, the information you have provided in the application form will be assessed.


A high standard of written communication skills are a requirement to working with us. If your application form contains an unreasonable number of spelling or grammatical errors, then your application will be unsuccessful.


We’re looking for evidence of the qualities you have to enable you to carry out your role and the rationale for wanting to join BTP. If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to take online tests covering word usage and numerical reasoning.


Stage One Assessment Centre 

Once you have successfully completed the online tests, you’ll be invited to attend the first stage of our assessment centre. The day comprises of:

  • A one-hour competency-based interview and presentation

We’re looking for evidence of the qualities you have to enable you to carry out your role. We’ll assess your assessment centre answers against the Competency and values framework (CVF) 

More information on the CVF can be found here.

Stage Two Assessment Centre 

  • A Job-Related Fitness Test (JRFT) – a beep test to level 5.4
  • Uniform measurements

You’ll also have samples taken (mouth swab and fingerprints) for the purpose of biometric vetting.


Once you have been given a conditional offer, you will go through the full vetting process. This will include employment reference checks as well as our own baseline vetting. You’ll receive your offer letter or contract once these security checks have been successfully completed.


You’ll also be asked to attend a comprehensive medical assessment, which will be conducted by a doctor or registered nurse. The medical assessment is thorough and includes checks of your eyesight, hearing, blood pressure and body mass This will help us to determine whether or not you have the level of health that is required for the role. You will also be required to pass a drugs and alcohol test.


We understand that it's only natural to want to prepare for the recruitment process to be an officer with us. To support you through both your application and subsequent assessment centre, we occasionally hold application and assessment centre workshops.



Before you make the decision to apply, you’ll need to make sure that you meet our eligibility criteria.


It’s important that our employees provide the best possible service with the full confidence of the public they serve. That’s why every potential employee goes through a thorough vetting check as part of the application process.

Right to work in the UK

To join us, you must have the permanent right to live and work in the UK without any restrictions.


As a minimum, all applicants must have been resident in the UK for the last 3 years. This is required to ensure we can conduct adequate vetting checks and this applies equally to all applicants, regardless of nationality.


You must be a minimum of 18 years old to start employment with us. 

Convictions and cautions

You will not be eligible to apply if you have ever received a prison sentence.

All other cautions, convictions and involvement with the police must be declared during the vetting process. This will not necessarily result in your application being withdrawn, as all applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Financial position

As part of your checks we will verify your financial position. Employees hold a privileged position and have access to a range of sensitive and valuable information. Potentially, this means employees are a heightened risk of being vulnerable to corruption. This means, applicants must to be free from the pressure of undischarged debts or liabilities and to be able to manage loans and debts sensibly.


Tattoos are not acceptable if:

  • They are on your face
  • Above the collar line on the front or side of your neck,
  • Are large on the back of your neck and cannot be easily covered
  • They could be considered in any way offensive, regardless of their location.

Visible tattoos are permissible on other areas of the body including hands, arms, legs, feet and on the back of the neck (providing the tattoo is discreet and behind the ear lobe).

Discreet tattoos on the ear are also considered acceptable. Consideration will be given to tattoos on the face that were necessary following medical procedures or for cosmetic procedures e.g. eyebrows.

You are encouraged to contact the recruitment team if you are at all unsure about your tattoos and we will advise you wherever possible.

You can do this by emailing us.

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Inappropriate associations

You have to be able to conduct your role and responsibilities impartially and effectively. This means if you are currently, or have even been, associated with any group, society or individuals that could reasonably represent a conflict of interest, then you will not be eligible to apply.

HM Forces

Due to the timescales of our recruitment process, applications from service personnel will only be accepted if you have 12 months or less to serve before being discharged. You will need to attach with your application confirmation of your projected date of discharge. (e.g. a letter from your Commanding officer).

Education and skills

If you hold Maths and English Level 2 qualifications, as a minimum; then you do not have to complete the tests stated below; but you will need to provide the certificates for the Recruitment team to review.

  • GCSE Grade C/Level 4 or above in Maths and English.
  • Functional Skills Level 2 in Numeracy/Literacy
  • Scottish Qualifications accepted: SCQF Level 5, Intermediate 2 at level 5 or Standard Grade (with credit) – achieved at the correct grading in Maths and English.

Copies of relevant qualification certificates must be enclosed via the above link. Qualifications in other subjects are not accepted, irrespective of the level of qualification held.

If you have English and Maths at a higher qualification level those will also be accepted. You will be required to provide certification to evidence attainment of those qualifications to the required standard via the above link. A full list of qualifications accepted are available in the Apprenticeship Standards for English and Maths guidance on GOV.UK. You should specifically refer to ‘Level 3 Apprenticeships’ which covers the requirements for Level 3 apprenticeships/diplomas and above.

Business interests

You will need to declare any other employment or business interest you have and intend to maintain so that this can be reviewed to ensure no conflict of interest with the police.

You will not normally be eligible for appointment as a Police Officer or PCSO if you hold any office or employment for hire or gain, or if you carry on any business in addition to being a Police Officer or PCSO.

Health and medical

Our employees may encounter situations that can be stressful, traumatic and at times, physically confrontational. Our people can work long hours and cover rotating shifts, so the role can be physically and mentally demanding. Therefore, it is important our employees are in good health to be able to undertake their duties safely.

To ensure we can support our employees’ wellbeing, we’ll ask you to provide relevant details of your health and medical history in accordance with any questions we have to ask during the application process.

Application Requiring Reasonable Adjustments

British Transport Police is committed to improving inclusivity, accessibility and employment opportunities throughout our organisation. We welcome applicants to share any specific needs or requirements with us throughout both the recruitment process and in the workplace. We will make reasonable adjustments where possible if this highlighted within your application.

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