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Scottish Tories must use their power to stop break up of BTP

16 July 2017

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes has written to leader of the Scottish Tories, Ruth Davidson asking her to use her influence at Westminster to stop break-up of British Transport Police.

Following a majority vote in Holyrood last month, the Scottish Government are pressing ahead with their controversial plans to merge specialist BTP officers and staff into Police Scotland.

TSSA is the trades union which represents police staff working within BTP and in his letter Cortes thanked Davidson for her support for our union's campaign to preserve BTP `as a cross-border rail security service.

"The battle to save this vital police service now moves to Westminster as legislation is required to enable the transfer of BTP staff and assets in Scotland to the Scottish Government," says Cortes.

"This means that the Conservative Party has the chance to thwart the proposed merger of BTP in Scotland with Police Scotland something that I know you have vigorously opposed. If they want to make amends in any way for the havoc their cuts have caused they should seize this chance to pin things right.

"I've written to Ruth Davidson asking her to put her money where her mouth is and speak up for the BTP and use her influence influence to ensure Conservative ministers in Westminster are instructed by the Prime Minister not to table the legislation needed to break up BTP.

"The SNP’s plans have from the onset been driven by blind nationalist ideology, whatever the cost to the future of dedicated railway policing and the safety and security of passengers and workers on the Scottish network but with the heightened state of security following the tragic recent terrorist attacks in both Manchester and London. In both of those occasions, BTP Officers and Police Community Support Officers were the first on the scene because of their proximity to the railway stations involved.

"It is our members’ view that going ahead with the break-up of BTP shows a callous disregard for public safety. Given this, the easiest way to stop this deliberate erosion of public security is for the Conservative Party not to table the legislation required to make it a reality.

"But I warn her, that If this fails, we will use our influence with Labour's front bench to table wrecking amendments and/or vote against any legislation tabled in Westminster by the UK Government which seeks to enable the break up."

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