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TSSA launch petition to save British Transport Police

19 June 2017

TSSA are launching a public petition to enlist people power to save British Transport Police from Scottish Government proposals to break up Britain's specialist railway police force.

The Railway Policing Bill (Scotland) is opposed by BTP, BTP Federation, all rail unions and passenger groups, The Labour Party, Scottish Conservatives. It is also understood cross border train operating companies (TOCs) themselves are not in favour of it.

Yet the SNP, supported by the Scottish Greens and, the Scottish Liberal Democrats are continuing to press ahead with the devolution of all BTP officers and staff north of the border into Police Scotland.

But, in the light of recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, which saw British Transport Police and Police Community Support Officers amongst the first on the scene of the tragedies, the petition will call on the Scottish Government to shelve their plans.

Said TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, "The general election results north and south of the border show that the majority of Britons are really fed up with the way they are currently being governed and Labour's s policy of restoring 10,000 police to cut by Theresa May was undoubtedly popular.

"In the light of the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, it is clear people want and need to be better not worse protected. If the SNPs, the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Lib Dems press ahead with this Bill, they will find themselves to the right of even the Scottish Tories who are busy building a wall between themselves and their leader Theresa May who accused the Pollice Federation of "crying wolf" when she was slashing their numbers.

"She got punished at the ballot box for her arrogance last week. And the SNP have been put on notice that thet have no mandate to drive through devolution for devolution's sake. Rail safety is not a political principle.It is a public necessity and the SNP would do well to heed the lack of mood in Scotland for their nationalist interest being placed over the national interest. The national interest demands we retain a single trans-UK British Transport Police as a highly skilled, railway dedicated, cross-border, national force.

"BTP carry out specialist counter-terrorism policing through Operation Alert which has been established for years  and railway staff and BTP have a long standing mutual, daily - sometimes hourly - contact system that results in a high level of cooperation and staffing which the break-up and merger into Police Scotland will abolish.

"It's a ludicrous way to make policing better or security on railways better. BTP is not broken but unless this bill is killed it will be. We hope that by engaging the power of the people via a mass petition, people wherever they live in the British Isles will take the matter of their safety and securityinto their hands, sign the petition and spread widely. Like Theresa may, Nicola Sturgeon must be made to  hear the entire British nation asking her to change her mind and stop the sacrifice of protect our safety, our security and our BTP on the alter of her blinkered party interest."

Scottish Government : Save the British Transport Police

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