Police want data shared between rail companies to track ‘suspicious’ behavior

A British Transport Police Chief Constable wants rail companies to share data about their passengers as it can help identify suspicious behavior and lead to the identification of suspects and victims.

British Transport Police Chief Constable Lucy Dorsi said she wanted to access train passengers’ travel data to detect “unusual behavior”, sparking concerns from privacy activists.

“Use your data in better ways”

The British Transport Police is the national special police force that polices the railway networks of England, Wales and Scotland.

Dorsi said police tv On Wednesday, she added that she was in talks with the railroad and that “citizenship and liberty aspects” were part of the discussion.

She argued that sharing data between rail companies, such as National Rail and Transport for London (TfL), could help identify suspects and victims.

The police chief wondered why someone would tap in and tap out on the London Underground after six hours.

In London, Tube passengers tap their Oyster card or bank card at the start of their journey, and finally touch a Yellow Card reader to pay the correct fare.

She said that people who spend a lot of time on the tube “can be lost, they can be vulnerable, they can be pickpockets, they can be predatory sex predators.

“At the moment, we are all looking for these individuals, whether from a criminal point of view or a vulnerability point of view, but really looking at how we can better use the data. There are things I feel are missing opportunities to do, said Doshi.

When asked if the police already had access to that data, she said:

“We’re not looking for your data,” Dorsi said. “We are looking for predatory sex offender data. We are looking for anomalous behavior.

“We don’t look at you as an individual. helps you understand.”


The move worried privacy activists, who called it “Orwellian.”

Madeleine Stone, Legal and Policy Officer, Big Brother Watch UK, said: told the daily mail “The suggestion that the police should follow the movements of the innocent masses came directly from Orwell’s police state.

“British citizens are already some of the most monitored countries in the world and this ridiculous proposal would be a nightmare for privacy and civil liberties.”

A UK Transport Police spokesperson told The Epoch Times by email that “future desires to share more data with TfL or rail operators will be subject to information sharing agreements and data protection impact assessments.” Told.

On Wednesday, privacy campaign organization Open Rights Group teamed up with Green Party politician Sian Berry on measures that would allow police to keep tens of thousands of motorists under surveillance around London each day. I objected.

The group said Khan, who was reelected to a second term in May 2021, expanded the scope of his 2014 data-sharing agreement to include vehicle color and make, driver images and even pedestrians. said.

The measure was taken without public consultation by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Chris Summers contributed to this report.

Owen Evans


Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech, covering a wide range of national stories.