11th September 2017
Rutherglen Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown has backed calls for a halt to the merger between Police Scotland and the British Transport Police being imposed by the Scottish Government. He described the plan as “another SNP police shambles” following the ill-fated centralisation of the Scottish police forces and after the enforced leave of absence taken by Chief Constable Philip Gormley who is under investigation for gross misconduct.
Robert Brown said:
“British Transport Police provide an independent and specialist service keeping people safe on our railways. While clearly there is and should be co-operation with Police Scotland, the merger is another ill thought out centralisation being rushed through by the SNP. It makes no sense at all to go forward with this at a time when the police organisation is still trying to digest the original centralisation – and when there are problems with the top management in both the police and the Scottish Police Authority, the police oversight body.
British Transport Police should be left alone and the merger put on hold. A merger like this requires strong leadership and with both the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland without any permanent leadership it would be irresponsible to allow it to proceed.
There has long been concern over this merger and just a few days ago an HMICS report showed the merger to be seriously flawed. Now with Police Scotland in the midst of a power vacuum such a merger could be disastrous.”