Scottish government relegates British Transport Police integration to ‘long-term goal’

ScotRailThe Scottish government has relegated the full integration of British Transport Police (BTP) into Police Scotland to a “long-term” goal, preferring “a stronger oversight role” for the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) in the interim.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said in a letter to MSPs that his officials “have been working with stakeholders to explore further the options for enhanced accountability to the Scottish Parliament”.

The letter to Holyrood’s justice committee continues: “Last month’s event demonstrated a general consensus among stakeholders that legislation currently in force could be used to create an arrangement that facilitates a stronger oversight role for SPA in relation to railway policing in Scotland. Both the SPA and BTPA have committed to exploring that option further and discussing how it might work in practice.

“I have asked SPA and BTPA to further consider how this can be done, ensuring a stronger oversight role for SPA.”

However, he said full integration of the British Transport Police into Police Scotland remained the governments’ “long-term goal”.