Creating a fully accountable railway policing service.
Railway policing will come under the command of Police Scotland after legislation was passed by the Scottish Parliament.
The expertise of British Transport Police officers and staff will be backed by the specialist resources of Police Scotland, including counter terrorism, air support and armed policing.
Strengthening the already high standards of safety and security on Scotland’s railways will be the key priority of integration.
The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill was supported by Parliament following the stage 3 debate today.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said:
“Scotland’s railways are a vital part of our infrastructure and we highly value the officers and staff whose dedication and expertise keeps our railways safe.
“We remain absolutely committed to the triple-lock guarantee that will secure the jobs, pay and pensions of railway policing officers and staff in Scotland, who will transfer over without any detriment to their terms and conditions.
“Over the coming months and years we will keep working with passengers, railway staff, police officers and all partners on a smooth transition which will enhance the already high standards of safety and security on our railways.”
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson added:
“With this move we are ensuring that policing on Scotland’s 93 million annual rail journeys is fully accountable to the people of Scotland and our Parliament.
“We know that preserving railway expertise is vital and Police Scotland have already confirmed their plans to maintain a specialist railway policing function within the wider service.
“Making this change gives our railway officers access to the specialist resources of the UK’s second largest police force including, crucially, counter-terrorism capabilities.”
British Transport Police’s 224 officers and staff will join Police Scotland with a statutory guarantee that they can stay within railway policing under the new arrangements, which come into force in 2019.
Deputy Chief Constable Johnny Gwynne said:
“Police Scotland acknowledges the decision of the Scottish Parliament and will look to build on the good work of BTP to sustain and improve the delivery of policing services and meet the needs of the travelling public and rail industry across Scotland."