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McArthur: SNP ignore concerns over transport policing

June 27, 2017 7:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has today described Scottish Government plans to absorb British Transport Police into Police Scotland as "flawed" as the party voted against the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill at today's Stage 3 debate.

Mr McArthur said:

"This bill has been criticised by officers, unions and railway staff and indeed a majority of respondents to the government's consultation ranged from sceptical to hostile.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats were prepared to see if those criticisms could be addressed during the course of the progression of this bill through Parliament but it has become increasingly obvious that ministers made up their minds long ago to dismantle British Transport Police and merge its functions with Police Scotland irrespective of the evidence.

"This flawed bill fails to allay concerns about how the specialist expertise of British Transport Police can be maintained and raises doubts over Police Scotland's ability to manage these additional responsibilities as a result of the botched centralisation driven through by the SNP Government. That is why Scottish Liberal Democrats reject the bill today."