County lines drug activity has increased by 30 per cent on Govia Thameslink trains in 2023.

The company operates all Southern, Great Northern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services.

County lines refers to the action of illegal drugs being transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority boundaries.

Herts Advertiser: A collaboration agreement has been signed.A collaboration agreement has been signed. (Image: Govia Thameslink Railway)

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) also confirmed that there have been over 1,000 staff reports of anti-social behaviour since April 1.


The company has now signed a collaboration agreement with the British Transport Police, having worked closely with the constabulary over the past year.

The new agreement will see both parties work together on the following objectives:

  • Deter unwanted sexual behaviour on GTR trains and stations.
  • Identify and protect potentially vulnerable people and groups using the GTR network.
  • Prevent and prosecute any staff assault.
  • Improve staff and passenger confidence through increased engagement.

Samantha Facey - safety, health and security director at GTR - said: "Everyone travelling with GTR deserves to get home safely.

Herts Advertiser: Thameslink and Great Northern trains serve a number of stations across Hertfordshire.Thameslink and Great Northern trains serve a number of stations across Hertfordshire. (Image: Google Maps)

"We’ve worked closely with the BTP for many years, and along with our dedicated frontline teams and Rail Enforcement Officers, it is our joint mission to look out for the safety of our passengers and our staff.


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"We were the first rail operator to sign the collaboration agreement in 2022 and since then have seen improvements in joint operations, shared information and better support.”

Christopher Casey - chief superintendent for the British Transport Police - added: "This agreement further solidifies our close partnership as our goals remain closely intertwined.

Herts Advertiser: The two organisations have worked closely over the past year.The two organisations have worked closely over the past year. (Image: Govia Thameslink Railway)

"Our overarching vision at BTP is to be a world leading Police Force trusted to provide a safe and reliable railway.

"This agreement's signing distinctly outlines various mutual objectives that will enable us to collectively sustain efforts in deterring criminal activities within the rail network, while also fostering trust and confidence among passengers and rail industry partners.”

Herts Advertiser: Govia Thameslink Railway's new head of security and policing, Mike Boyce.Govia Thameslink Railway's new head of security and policing, Mike Boyce. (Image: Govia Thameslink Railway)

A new head of security and policing has been appointed by GTR following the agreement.

Mike Boyce commented: "It’s a critical role that plays perfectly into my strengths, and I’m looking forward to working with the wider team and other partners to ensure that everybody who travels through our stations or on our trains can do so safely."