Railway policing committee created

Accountability and scrutiny enhanced.

A new forum is being created to oversee and scrutinise railway policing in Scotland.

The Scottish Railways Policing Committee, agreed by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and the British Transport Police Authority (BTPA), will improve accountability and facilitate a stronger role for the SPA in relation to railway policing.

The committee’s responsibilities will include:
• reviewing and reporting on the planning and performance of railway policing in Scotland
• reviewing and reporting on the co-operation and close working of Police Scotland and the British Transport Police
• scrutinising British Transport Police’s public and stakeholder engagement work

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf announced in August 2018 all options for the devolution of railway policing would be re-examined.

Mr Yousaf said:

“This is a complex piece of work and represents a great step forward for the accountability and transparency of railway policing in Scotland. It will also ensure the continued safety and security of the travelling public.”

Ron Barclay-Smith, chair of the BTPA, said: 

“A great deal of work has gone into finding an adequate solution for the management and scrutiny of rail policing in Scotland that works best for all involved, including police staff, officers, passengers and rail staff."


The Scottish Railways Policing Committee will be a sub-committee of the British Transport Police Authority established under existing legislation.

The committee will comprise members of both authorities and will be chaired by the Scotland member of the British Transport Police Authority.

The inaugural meeting is expected to be held early autumn.

The Scottish Railways Policing Committee will be subject to rigorous review to ensure it operates effectively.

The commencement of the Railway Policing (Scotland) Act 2017 remains under review.


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