Mark Whitby's decision to hold a private briefing with Jarvis officials about the Potters Bar accident was a sensible way of attempting to learn lessons from that tragedy. The confrontation of litigation and the time taken to establish results at a public inquiry do not lend themselves to a rapid dissemination of the implications for future practice.
For the British Transport Police to consider it worthwhile to pursue Whitby reflects their aggressive agenda. With this information now in the public domain, how many engineers will feel at ease during future 'private' briefings?
Professional engineers in the rail industry continually strive to learn from past events and implement these into their daily work. However, the police actions on 13 January will only serve to hamper the chances of creating a more open culture.
Patrick Waterhouse, 8 Dunmaston Avenue, Altrincham, WA15 7LG