You can read 19 more articles this month
UNPOPULAR plans to merge transport policing north of the border into the main Scottish force suffered another blow today when Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf admitted they might never go ahead.
Mr Yousaf said that while the Scottish government still sees some benefits in fully integrating the two forces, ministers would “have to look again at whether the legislation would be commenced or not.”
The Scottish Parliament passed the Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill in June, despite criticism from opposition parties, rail unions and others.
The merger was originally due to take place in April 2019, but the timetable was delayed.
Police Scotland is currently unable to give a “definitive date” for when the merger could take place, Mr Yousaf told MSPs on Holyrood’s justice committee today.
The SNP minister said: “The commencement of the act is something I keep under review. I am not closed-minded on that point. But I still continue to say from a Scottish government point of view we still see some benefits in full integration.”
He admitted he was disappointed the merger had to be put on hold, saying: “I see the benefits of full integration, seamless policing, that single command structure, I see those benefits.”
He indicated that it could be several years before the merger takes place.
Pressed on the timing for this, Mr Yousaf said: “Many people” regarded the 10-year Policing 2026 strategy as being “the natural dovetail of full integration.”
He added: “I wouldn’t disagree with that assessment.”
But he stressed merging the two forces was “not where my focus is at the moment.”
Rail unions, which organise among civilian grades in the British Transport Police, have pointed to problems in aligning IT systems, pension arrangements, career development plans and terms and conditions.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.