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Alastair Darling opens transport police HQ

Alastair Darling visited London Bridge Street on Thursday to open the British Transport Police's new London South area headquarters.

The new London South area Headquarters is based at Ivason House in London Bridge. It will be responsible for policing stations and trains in south London and the southern Home Counties.

The new building will improve communication by bringing together functions such as the crime management centre, the operations department and case building team. The move also frees room elsewhere for the additional police officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) which have recently been recruited.

Over three floors, Ivason House, formerly part of Guy's Hospital, houses the area commander and senior team, crime management centre, where all reported crimes are inputted and tracked, the case building team, which conducts follow up enquiries on crimes, the central London operations department, CID, crime reduction department, training department and other support units.

Alistair Darling added: "It is crucial that the London South BTP have good facilities in which to conduct their work as a quarter of recorded crime and almost half of all robberies occur in this region.

"Even with such a tough area the BTP has actually done remarkably well with robberies down and the detection rate up on last year. However, passengers and staff deserve better and I am now convinced the force has the right finance and structures in place to give people the freedom to travel more safely and securely."

46 per cent of robberies in Britain on the rail system are reported in the London South Area. In the year to February 1,008 were reported (down 17 per cent on 2003/04) and the detection rate was 32 per cent, up six percentage points.

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