Survey finds almost two-thirds of BTP staff may not transfer to Police Scotland

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Almost two-thirds of British Transport Police (BTP) staff may not transfer to Police Scotland under the forthcoming merger, a survey suggests.

The internal survey found just 37% of BTP employees said they intended to transfer to the single force while 22% were unsure of their future.

Of the 158 respondents, the majority of whom were police officers, 14% said they wanted to remain with BTP and transfer south of border.

A further 22 % were considering leaving or retiring before the merger but were waiting for more information before making a decision.

Meanwhile, 4% were actively looking for other employment with BTP and 1% had already decided to leave the transport force.

BTP analysis of the survey results concluded: “The key theme running through a great majority of responses was that participants didn’t have enough information to make an informed decision about their future employment – either within BTP or outwith BTP.”

The research was carried out last August, two months after MSPs voted to pass legislation which will enable the merger to come into force in April 2019 despite opposition from the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats at Holyrood.

Last month, a report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) found morale within the BTP was low as a result of ”uncertainty” and called for issues over the impact the amalgamation would have on staff and officers’ terms and conditions to be resolved at the ”earliest opportunity”.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government is fully committed to ensuring that policing in Scotland has a strong and robust future that delivers high safety standards for passengers, staff and the rail industry.

“We have given a triple-lock guarantee to secure the jobs, pay and pensions of railway policing officers and staff in Scotland, and, together with Police Scotland, we met with the BTP Federation in mid-December for three days to discuss terms and conditions of service, and this important work will continue.

“The integration of railway policing into Police Scotland, as approved by the Parliament in June 2017, will provide a single command structure with seamless access to wider support facilities and specialist resources of the second largest police service in the UK, providing an enhanced service to the rail industry and travelling public.”

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