Holyrood’s Justice Committee has issued its call for evidence on the Scottish Government’s proposals to integrate the British Transport Police in Scotland into Police Scotland.
Given the lead role on the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill, the committee previously held a roundtable session with key interest groups. These gave rise to a number of issues including the sharing of expertise and resources between territorial and transport police, the prioritisation given to railway policing, cross-border railway policing and management, and the possible loss of experienced BTP officers, amongst others.
Committee convener Margaret Mitchell MSP, commented: “The safety of the travelling public is heavily dependent upon good policing of Scotland’s railways. However, it’s already been made clear to the committee that there is no consensus about the future of railway policing in Scotland, and whether this proposed legislation will have a positive effect on the safety of our railways.
“Now the Government’s plans have been set out, it is important that anyone with an interest in the future of transport policing in Scotland tells us what they think of this fundamental change to policing in Scotland. The concerns and evidence raised from these responses will be used to better inform the forthcoming debate and to hold any Government actions to account.”
In particular, the committee is looking to hear about the anticipated impact on skills retention, cross-border security arrangements, passenger safety and confidence, relationships with rail operators, and how the role or terms and conditions of BTP officers may be affected.
Click here to view the call for evidence. The deadline for receipt of written submissions is Tuesday 31 January 2017.