Police Scotland to merge with British Transport Police

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Police Scotland to merge with British Transport Police    7th sept 2016

The Scottish Government is to press
ahead with plans to integrate the British Transport Police into Police
Scotland. The Railway Policing Bill will put in place funding
arrangements for the merger of BTP operations in Scotland with the
cash-strapped national police force.

The legislation is one of a number of
justice measures included in the SNP’s programme for government, which
was published yesterday. The Domestic Abuse Bill will create a
new offence of domestic abuse that will criminalise psychological abuse
such as “coercive behaviour”.

Under the Limitation (Childhood Abuse)
Bill, the three-year time bar on raising personal injury actions will be
lifted for survivors of child abuse.

The time bar has previously been blamed
for preventing those abused in childhood from seeking compensation
through the civil courts.

There is also a pledge to investigate alternatives to short-term prison sentences, including the use of GPS tracking.

SNP urged to drop British Transport Police plans

Police Scotland’s £1.1 billion annual
revenue budget will be protected in real terms, with the government
supporting work being carried out by the Scottish Police Authority to
“transform” the service, including more specialists in cyber-crime and
counter-fraud. There will also be an extra £2m to allow Police Scotland
to maintain its ageing estate. However, it is the Railway Policing Bill
which is likely to be the most contentious item among the justice

Last week the British Transport Police
Federation, which represents officers working for the service, said the
Scottish Government’s plans would create “inconsistencies” for the
millions of passengers who make cross-border journeys each year. It also
warned that BTP officers would be “abstracted” from their duties to
“bolster” Police Scotland.

Railway policing is being devolved to
the Scottish Parliament under the Scotland Act following a
recommendation by the Smith Commission. 


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