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Statement re Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill

27 June, 2017

British Transport
Police Federation
June 27, 2017

Statement re Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill


We are disappointed and frustrated that the Bill has been passed, but it's not surprising. From the outset, it was clear full integration was the sole focus of debates in Parliament, with other options being quickly dismissed with little, if any, discussion.

It is our view that this decision has been taken despite there being little evidence as to the need for integration and the benefits to the travelling public. We don't believe, as suggested, that this is about improving policing on the railway or for railway policing to be more accountable to the Scottish public.

It is a sad day when politicians interfere with policing in this manner especially at a time when the country faces such significant threats. BTP Federation implored the Scottish Government to suspend such a decision until the finer detail could be worked through, the cost to the taxpayer recognised and any the risk to the railway network and cross border policing minimised. This request fell on deaf ears and the SNP continued with what can be only be described as an ideology around independence.

To our colleagues in BTP Scotland, we are sorry that it has come to this. We tried our utmost to put forward a well-evidenced debate, but it has ultimately been ignored.

Our job now is to secure the best possible outcome for BTP Scotland officers. This is a role we take seriously and we will continue engage fully in the process, offering advice and sharing our experience. We will hold Ministers to the triple-lock guarantee they have given our officers on jobs, pay and pensions.

Despite facing an uncertain personal future, our members remain committed to the travelling public and rail staff in Scotland, and will continue to proudly police the network in the dedicated way they always have.

Lastly, we would like to thank all those who listened and supported us and our officers, including the various unions, Train Operating Companies and politicians who raised our concerns throughout the process.