- 31 Aug 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/02190
Date received: 23 July 2018
Date responded: 25 August 2018
1) How much has been spent-to-date on the merger of Police Scotland and the British Transport Police (BTP) with details how the money has differed from the Scottish Government’s initial projections.
2) Based on current spend of the merger please detail the Scottish Government’s current projections for the total cost of the BTP merger.
3) Whether the expected completion date for the merger is still expect to be April 2019 and if not, details of when the Scottish Government expects it to be completed by.
4) If the merger is to be delayed past April 2019, please give details for the reasoning behind this and moreover, details of when the Scottish Government was first aware of this delay.
5) All advice on the merger from police forces in Scotland and across the rest of the UK.
The answer to questions 1) and 2) is as follows: The Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill Financial Memorandum specifically set out that “the cost of railway policing is not expected to rise as a result of the changes made by this Bill as the Scottish Government’s policy is that the costs of operational railway policing in Scotland would continue to be fully funded by the rail industry through the new RPAs and no net additional costs would fall on the administration”.
The Scottish Government has written to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee to provide details of staff costs incurred thus far as well as an assurance to provide an accurate estimate of future costs, http://www.parliament.scot/S5_JusticeCommittee/Inquiries/BTP-SGandDfT.pdf.
The answer to question 3) is that the expected completion date for the integration of railway policing in Scotland is not April 2019. Ministers accepted the recommendation of the Joint Programme Board for Integration (JPB) following the Special JPB meeting on 20th February 2018. All notes of JPB meetings, including this Special JPB meeting are published by the Scottish Government, https://www.gov.scot/Topics/Justice/policies/police-fire-rescue/police-scotland/BTP/jpbprogramme/proactiverelease. The Scottish Government issued the attached statement on 20 February 2018, https://news.gov.scot/news/railway-policing-integration.
As a result of the decision to review the timetable for integration, re-planning activities are underway which aim to identify a new date for integration and a transition approach which will successfully deliver fully-integrated, high quality railway policing for Scotland.
The answer to question 4) is that in addition to the aforementioned Scottish Government news release, the attached advice from the JPB Chairs to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee makes clear the reasons behind the decision to review the timetable for integration, http://www.parliament.scot/S5_JusticeCommittee/Inquiries/BTP-JPB.pdf. The Scottish Government were first aware of the proposal to review the timetable at the Special JPB meeting of 20th February 2018.
In response to question 5), all JPB papers have been published (link provided on previous page). The BTP and BTPA published the updated ‘Options Paper for the Devolution of Transport Policing in Scotland’, https://www.btp.police.uk/pdf/BTP-Scottish%20Options%20Paper%2017-4-2015-Appendix.pdf in April 2015. In addition, all written evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee from Police Scotland and the British Transport Police is available on the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee website, http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/108214.aspx.
Under section 10(1) of FOISA, our response to your request is due on Thursday 23 August. Unfortunately, it is taking longer than expected to deal with part 5) of your request. I apologise for this delay and hope to be able to send you a further detailed response shortly.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at https://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House