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Police Scotland and British Transport Police merger costs will be 'significant'

When MSPs approved the merger of British Transport Police into Police Scotland the costs of the project were said to be 'minor'.

It is being reported that minutes of a Scottish Police Authority (SPA) meeting warn that costs will be 'significant'.

Police Scotland are working with Ernst & Young to help with integration plans which will see Police Scotland undertake railway policing from 2019. An initial
£400,000 has been allocated to get the project started.

The Scottish National Party pushed ahead with their BTP integration plans despite warnings from railway industry, staff associations and trade unions.

The minutes of the SPA meeting are understood to say that the merger will be “complex and unprecedented with many significant financial implications”.

Dr Kath Murray, a criminal justice researcher at Edinburgh University, said it was “extraordinary” that the costs associated with the project remain unknown.

She said: “The fact the costs of integration are still not known raises serious questions about the policy-making process. Ahead of the Railway Policing Act, Police Scotland cautioned that the costs associated with the Bill were not clear.

Nearly a year on, this is still the case, with due diligence now expected in early 2018. With less than eighteen months until integration, it seems extraordinary that the project remains uncosted.”

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