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British Transport Police (BTP) merger of Police Scotland hits delays!

23 January 2018

Commenting on a leaked statement on the BTP intranet, Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said, “The merger of BTP with Police Scotland was always a disaster in the making.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson and the SNP are wasting public money and time in pursuit of a merger that no-one involved in railway policing needs or wants.

“Worse, they put the safety and security of Scottish travellers at risk at a time of heightened terrorist threat purely to pursue a nationalistic agenda.

“TSSA has said all along that the merger was neither professionally necessary nor operationally practical. We warned, a year ago, that this process was causing specialist BTP staff – such stress that they would leave their jobs, leaving the force short of the specialist skills it needs. 

“Now Police Scotland have admitted that it is not possible to deliver the merger by the deadline. Justice Secretary Matheson should be considering his position right now after ignoring advice from BTP, Police Scotland, the unions, the staff and even Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. Ultimately the buck stops with Nicola Sturgeon who needs to apologise to the Scottish people for the wholly avoidable mess her party has made of policing Scotland’s railways.

We must thank Lord George Foulkes of Cumnock for his recent intervention in the House of Lords. There is no will south of the border for the increased risk of terrorism, crime and delays this merger is set to cause.

It is now time to shelve this and any other proposed changes to the structure of BTP and allow the force to focus all its efforts on making our railways North and South of the border crime free and safe.”

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