A local MSP has expressed concerns over the future of Kirkcaldy Rail Station’s police office.
Liz Smith, Scottish Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife, says she wants a reassurance that the office will stay open after this week’s announcement that the SNP Scottish Government will scrap the British Transport Police in Scotland. Policing of railways will now become part of Police Scotland’s operations.
Concern has been expressed that this loss of a dedicated force to police our rail network has been taken without thinking through the ramificationsLiz Smith MSP
Ms Smith said the decision to make the move without a public consultation showed that as far as the Government is concerned “the opinions of the public and the rail industry do not appear to count for anything”.
She said: “Questions are now being asked about the future of the Kirkcaldy Rail Station police office.
“One of their key duties is policing cross-border services, but now officers will have to get off the train at the border and be replaced by officers from the single force in Scotland.
“Concern has been expressed that this loss of a dedicated force to police our rail network has been taken without thinking through the ramifications.
“The British Transport Police currently has 231 officers in Scotland based across a network of 11 offices within major railway stations.
“There is now real concern over the possible loss of the Kirkcaldy Station police office and the impact which this will have on the safety and security of passengers at stations and on the trains.”
She added: “I have written to the new SNP Justice Minister to ask what assurances the Scottish Government will provide that the office will remain, as well as what certainty the public can have that the policing of our railway will remain a priority.”