Latest Rail News

11.09.18

£700,000 spent with consultancy firm over Police Scotland and BTP merger

Nearly £700,000 has been spent by Police Scotland with a private consultancy firm as part of the controversial plans to merge the British Transport Police (BTP) in Scotland with its national force.

However, the proposed plans— which would have seen Scotland’s national police force take over the BTP’s operations in Scotland—appear to be undecided.

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said that whilst the long-term goals remains to be full integration, he is “currently exploring further options to deliver devolution of railway policing,” and that a “a detailed re-planning exercise is now underway.”

It was back in 2014 that the devolution of railway policing was recommended as part of the Smith Commission.

Yousaf revealed in response to a parliamentary question from the Scottish Conservative’s justice spokesman Liam Kerr that two competitive tender processes were held in relation to BTP integration; one for “Programme Management Support” and the other for “specialist integration Due Diligence analysis.”

Two separate contracts of £400,000 and £298,000 were awarded to private consultancy firm Ernst & Young. Yousaf noted that the contracts had been delivered on budget.

A report from Police Scotland provided to the SPA Board meeting at the end of last month said: "A critical review was conducted by Police Scotland and it has been agreed in consultation with the Chief Constable and Deputies that there is insufficiently detailed evidence at this point on which to reach a conclusion on a revised ‘go live’ date."

Police Scotland raised concerns over, among others, clarity on costs, benefits and risk mitigation; the future funding arrangements for railway policing in Scotland, and the available level of medium to long term resources for Police Scotland’s proposed investment in digital, data and ICT capability and capacity.

Talks are ongoing with the Scottish government. 

Top image: Tim Ireland via PA Archive/PA Images

 

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