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DOUGLAS ROSS HAS called for a halt to plans for the merger of British Transport Police and Police Scotland as he led a debate on the issue at the House of Commons.
There has been widespread concern expressed by the public over the proposed merger, instigated by the Scottish Government.
Appearing before the Backbench Business Committee this week, Mr Ross secured a debate on halting the proposal in light of the ongoing difficulties facing Police Scotland.
The Moray MP said: “I have received numerous messages from people across Scotland about this merger. There is concern about it not only from serving and former police officers but also from the British Transport Police Federation, the rail industry and trade unions.
“The issue has been debated in the Scottish Parliament and the House of Lords recently and I felt it was appropriate to take it to the House of Commons as the SNP do not seem to be listening.”
Mr Ross, who served as Shadow Justice Secretary in the Scottish Parliament from 2016 to 2017 and has long taken an interest in policing, added: “I think people have come to me because they know I have a track record in this area.
“The railways do not stop at the border and nor does the travelling public. Railway policing is a cross-border issue and it is crucial, for the sake of the whole UK, that this merger is handled effectively. This will be the first time this issue has been debated by MPs in this session of Parliament, and I hope the SNP take note of calls from across the board for this merger to be paused.”
The MP concluded: “The SNP have a long way to go to convince the public and policing professionals that this change is being proposed for any reason other than the SNP’s dislike of the word “British” being used in the public realm.”