To be fair when they call into the Joint Emergency Services Centre it's interesting to listen to their radio traffic when New Street and Bare Lane are mentioned in subsequent transmissions its an indication of how much ground they cover.As a former railway signaller with Network Rail Ive had experience of dealing with BTP operationally.
Individually there are some good officers but operationally, as an organisation they can come across as incompetent. From my own experience it was better to call the civilian police first when there was a need for police involvement in incidents.
A numbers of years ago, when dealing with a potential suicide, I first dealt with the civilian police in managing the incident; later on the BT police turned up, called myself and told me to disregard whatever info was relayed to me from the civvy police as they had no authority regards railway incidents. And that I was to let the trains run normally.
I had to then remind the BTP officer that only the signaller has final authority to determine if its safe for trains to run and how they should run based on the information they have. The episode then descended into a total farce with counter information coming into my self and our operational control centre from both police forces. Fortunately, in the end the person was found and no harm came to them, which was more due to our own control centre than the police.
On another occasion, when contacting BTP control centre in Birmingham. They had difficulty in finding the location of an incident on their computer even though they were given a six figure grid reference, street names and road numbers from a railway map. Unbelievable !
The money given for funding the BTP would be better spent on funding the civvy police to do the same role.
And our 12 year olds never know where anywhere is either
I had interesting conversation with a Forestry Commission Ranger who provided a 6 fig GR only to be told by our Comms that that was no use as we use Eastings and Northings. I always tell folk to download W3W on their phones.