New London MP Bob Neill "has said the British Transport Police would have "no hope" in preventing a Madrid-style terror attack on commuter trains" (ePolitix.com). Mr Neill accuses the Government of complacency in defending London – echoing criticisms previously made by Tory homeland security spokesman Patrick Mercer.
"I know it is not easy with a mass transit system and you can never have absolute security but I do think we need to be looking at more. The [London] Assembly had a report, drafted by one of my colleagues, Richard Barnes, which pointed out some specifics on how we could up the ante on that. With technology we could do more… Personally I favour an integration between the British Transport Police and the Met because I think that would make it easier for the operation to be more flexible. We are going to have to be prepared to put some more resources into that.
From my constituency point of view it is not just the Tube, you also have to look at the over-land commuter network because, as you will remember in Madrid, it was exactly that, the sort of trains that come in from constituencies like mine that were the targets. British Transport Police has only got 300 people to cover the whole of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and South London so they have no hope preventing anything like that. Now we have more gated stations I think it is more possible to have some sort of discreet, light-touch scanning at least with the new technology."