Oliver reiterates concerns over British Transport Police

Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell has once again called on the SNP to stop their plans to merge the British Transport Police into Police Scotland.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Mr Mundell described the plans as politically driven and called on the Scottish Government to listen to the wide range of experts who have criticised the proposals.

In his speech, Mr Mundell said: “Having sat on the justice committee and listened to the evidence from experts, it has been clear right from the start, that this is not only the wrong plan, it is the wrong time and the consultation held by the Scottish Government was fundamentally flawed.

“It is little wonder that we have the Minister (Humza Yousaf) standing up and saying people are discontent with this process.

“That’s because the Minister continues to ignore what experts in this area are saying.

“This is a politically driven plan which has absolutely nothing to do with the best interests of policing.

“We are still no closer to seeing British Transport Police officers satisfied with the terms and conditions they have been offered.

“What worries me more from discussions with rank and file Police Scotland officers is that there is a growing resentment amongst them that officers are going to be joining their force on a different set of terms and conditions.

“The question now is whether the Scottish Government is finally ready to listen.”

Speaking afterwards, Mr Mundell reiterated his concerns about the complexities of cross border policing, with both the West Coast Main Line and the Nith Valley Line running through his Dumfriesshire constituency.

He added: “I have raised many concerns about what these plans will mean for cross-border policing on trains in my constituency.

“With British Transport Police Officers working at Carlisle still having no idea how operations will work ahead of next years deadline for the merger, there is a real risk of passenger safety being put at risk.”