The British Transport Police (BTP) is to be granted full powers of deodorisation, Chief Constable Andrew Trotter announced today.
From May, Transport officers will be equipped with industrial strength deodorant and empowered to "stop and spray" malodorous passengers across the country's rail network. In addition, BTP officers patrolling the London Underground will be able to call upon the services of an elite Rapid Rinse Unit, which is to be based in the capital. These specialist cleansing officers are to be armed with high pressure washers and military grade Carbolic soap and - when dealing with the most odoriferous and noxious commuters - will also be authorised to administer summary power showers.
"The onset of summer traditionally heralds a network wide rise in reports of Grievous Bodily Odour and unprovoked attacks on the nasal passages of innocent passengers," explained Mr. Trotter.
"Enabling my officers to tackle the problem of questionable personal hygiene armpit-on, will lead to a significant reduction in the number of stench related incidents we see. I'm just thankful that, despite a major setback early on, we have managed to introduce these counter-reek measures, before the weather gets too much warmer and armpits too much riper," said Mr. Trotter.
The Chief Constable was referring to an earlier pilot conducted on South West Trains, which had to be cut short after two BTP officers were seriously injured, when a mix-up involving the standard issue pepper spray led to one of the officers attempting to subdue a particularly violent drunk with a can of Lynx Africa.
Extending the BTP's powers to cover the policing of personal hygiene has not met with universal approval, with some human rights campaigners labelling the move as, "a serious infringement of civil liberties". Mr. Trotter dismisses such claims, stating: "Well of course that lot are going to complain."
"With their penchant for ineffectual natural cosmetics, animal friendly plastic footwear and fair-trade mung bean induced flatulence, these hippy liberals are exactly the sort of repeat offenders my officers will be targeting," he continued.
Following the BTP's lead, the Metropolitan Police are also looking to introduce similar powers ahead of next month's May Day Protests. A spokesman for the Met said: "We're currently fitting shower gel dispensers to our fleet of water cannons, which if nothing else, will at least make kettling the hoards of soap dodging dog on a string types a far more pleasant experience for all involved."