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TSSA Respond to Al-Qaeda targeting UK Rail Network

18 August 2017

As Al Quaeda target UK rail network, TSSA Call on Amber Rudd & Nicola Sturgeon to Stop Break-up of British Transport Police. Responding to reports that Al Quaeda are calling on British jiihadis to derail trains and attack the rail network, TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes is calling on Home Secretary, Amber Rudd and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to intervene immediately to halt the break up of British Transport Police

 As Al Quaeda target UK rail network, TSSA Call on Amber Rudd & Nicola Sturgeon to Stop Break-up of British Transport Police. 

 

 

Responding to reports that Al Quaeda are calling on British jiihadis  to derail trains and attack the rail network, TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes is calling on Home Secretary, Amber Rudd and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to intervene immediately to halt the break up of British Transport Police. 

 

He is also calling for a halt to restructuring programmes which involve the  shedding of any security critical staffing positions and for rail companies to conduct an emergency  joint security review across the rail and station networks to ensure maximum protection of the travelling public, railway staff and infrastructure.

 

Says Manuel Cortes,"Since the tragic events of 7/7 we have known that our transport networks have sadly been vulnerable to attack. The fault for this lies with the terrorists and I'm appalled to learn of this specific targeting of the our rail network. Whilst we can't guarantee that we will stop every attack, we do need to do everything we can in the face of this threat to minimise risk.

 

"In Scotland, the SNP are driving the break up of British Transport Police (BTP) from the British wide force and merging it into Police Scotland. There's not a single stakeholder involved in delivering rail services in Scotland that has wanted this controversial and purely political break up. Not the BTP nor the BTP Federation, not rail unions, not passenger groups, nor rail companies themselves. It is not in the interests of rail safety across Scotland's 10,000 miles of track, nor is it in the interests of joined up coordinated cross border rail policing. It's a political decision driven by the SNP's nationalist interest.

 

"But it has not met with a whimper of protest from the Tories at Westminster provoking real concerns that the English Tories are happy to see BTP broken up. We suspect that they intend to follow suit and phase out BTP south of the border too. In light of today's news we cannot allow BTP to be broken up. But we also need a stay of execution on current proposals to get rid of any safety critical staff across our rail networks.

 

"In Scotland this means keeping the 22 CCTV monitor staff at Dunfermline and Paisley whose positions are currently under threat. And south of the border it means honestly reviewing staffing rosters, admitting the short-falls in staff that seven years of Tory cuts have increased our vulnerability and reduced the efficacy of evacuation procedures and staff on stations and trains and upgrading staffing levels to afford proper protection to the increasing numbers of passengers travelling by rail.

 

"Amber Rudd is responsible for home security and Chris Grayling for transport but have stood idly by whilst Nicola Sturgeon's administration has been dismantling a vital part of our rail safety infrastructure - it's police force, News that Al Quaeda is targeting rail must be treated seriously and it must shake our politicians out of their rail safety complacency. The Tories and the SNP must now save the BTP from break up, order a thorough and fast security review of rail safety procedures involving all stakeholders so we work together to do all we can to minimise the public's risk from this potential harm.

 

"A TSSA petition against the break up of BTP has gathered nearly 10,000 signatures. In the light of today's news we'd like to extend to the public the opportunity to sign our petition to make their voices heard by the politicians when decisions are being made about their safety." 

 

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