Future of British Transport Police to be inspected by MSPs

21.12.2016

A call for views on the future of the British Transport Police (BTP) in Scotland has today been launched by Holyrood’s Justice Committee.

The Committee will be scrutinising the Scottish Government’s proposals outlined in the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill. If passed, the Bill would integrate the British Transport Police in Scotland into Police Scotland.

The Committee previously held a roundtable session on this issue with key stakeholders, where it outlined a number of issues. These included the sharing of expertise and resources between territorial and transport police, the prioritisation given to railway policing, cross-border railway policing and management, and the possible loss of experienced BTP officers, amongst others.

Justice Committee Convener, Margaret Mitchell MSP, said:

“The safety of the travelling public is heavily dependent upon good policing of Scotland’s railways. However, it’s already been made clear to the Committee that there is no consensus about the future of railway policing in Scotland, and whether this proposed legislation will have a positive effect on the safety of our railways.

“Now the Government’s plans have been set out, it is important that anyone with an interest in the future of transport policing in Scotland tells us what they think of this fundamental change to policing in Scotland. The concerns and evidence raised from these responses will be used to better inform the forthcoming debate and to hold any Government actions to account.”

In particular, the committee is looking to hear about the anticipated impact on skills retention, cross-border security arrangements, passenger safety and confidence, relationships with rail operators, and how the role or terms and conditions of BTP Officers may be affected.

The deadline for receipt of written submissions is Tuesday 31 January 2017.

Background

The call for evidence is available here.

The Official Report of the Justice Committee roundtable session on the future of British Transport Police is available here:

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=10594

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