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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-21913: Liam Kerr (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 4 March 2019

To ask the Scottish Government how much has been spent since May 2016 pursuing full integration of the British Transport Police and Police Scotland.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 28 March 2019

In August 2018, I announced that we would re-examine all options for the devolution of railway policing. Estimated costs therefore apply to work carried out assessing all options for delivering enhanced accountability and a stronger role for the Scottish Police Authority in relation to railway policing – not only integration.

The Scottish Government regularly reprioritises staff in order to meet Programme for Government commitments. Scottish Government official staff costs are part of the existing Safer Communities Directorate staffing costs in place to resource the delivery of this work. As such staffing costs relating to the devolution of railway policing have been absorbed within overall Scottish Government resource planning.

As confirmed in the letter dated 29 May 2018 to the Justice Committee from the Chairs of the Joint Programme Board ( https://www.parliament.scot/S5_JusticeCommittee/Inquiries/BTP-SGandDfT.pdf ), estimated Scottish Government staff costs to financial year end 2017-18 were £310,000. Staff costs for 2018-19 will not be calculated until after the end of the financial year.

I will provide an update to Parliament once the proposed arrangements for devolution have been agreed, and will include more detailed costs at that point.