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TSSA conference raises concerns about police security

25 June 2017

TSSA's annual conference in Liverpool is underway with concerns about the Scottish Government's proposal to break-up British Transport Police coming under fire from Scottish delegates.

A motion before conference tomorrow (Monday 26 June) will reveal that enforcing the merger with Police Scotland will cause chaos with railway schedules into, out of abs across Scotland with estimates that dealing with a railway fatality  will close lines for up to 9 hours rather than BTPs guaranteed less than 90 minutes.

General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, says strike action cannot now be ruled out as frustration and concern mounts over the Scottish government's intransigence on this issue.

"The Scottish government are failing to see reason on this issue. It makes no sense economically or on security or passenger safety fronts either.

"And now we have information that lines could be closed for up to nine hours because of a fatality on a line so we are being told the new proposal will be way less inefficient than the current arrangement, but are expected to go along with it in the name of devolution.

"Well I have news for the nationalist government. After the General Election Scotland is no longer their nationalist plaything. Passenger safety and rail security is in the national interest of people whichever sue of the border they live on. We will consider all options and will not shirk from strike action to preserve the integrity and reliability of rail security.

"A suicide on a line is always a human tragedy but the Scottish government will elevate a human tragedy into an economic one. And not just for Scotland. Trains delayed for upto 9 hours will cause massive backups and effectively congest our whole rail system. People won't be able to get to work, goods won't be able to move over the border trains will be sitting in queues on tracks and the economy both sides of the border will take a hit.

"This is no way to run a railway and the SNP should have no part in helping Theresa May take out more essential security staff. BTP have suffered enough cuts. They are part of a counter-terrorise strategy and deserve better respect. After the terror attacks at London Bridge and at Manchester it was a BTP and a BTP community support officer who were first emergency responders on the scene - one of whom, Mark Renshaw is a TSSA member.

"We are very proud of our TSSA BTP Police Community Support Officers and BTP staff members.

"We will honour Mark with a special tribute at our 120th anniversary dinner tonight in Liverpool. And we will continue to resist efforts to dismantle the BTP and call on the public to contact their MPs to do the same"
Note to desks:
Scotland currently has approximately 27O BTP officers whose 50 plus civilIan support staff are TSSA members.
There are 20 million cross border passenger journeys a year.

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