John has welcomed the announcement by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice that Police Scotland will undertake the control of Transport Policing once these functions have been devolved by the UK Government.
The proposal to devolve the functions and control of the British Transport Police within Scotland formed a part of the cross-party Smith Commission’s recommendations published on the 27th November 2014.
John had previously called for the devolution of the Transport Police to be examined by the Scottish Government ahead of its initial police reforms in 2012. Whilst the then Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill indicated that he was sympathetic to such a move, it did not materialise.
Commenting on the announcement John said:
“I am delighted that the Scottish Government has confirmed that the British Transport Police in Scotland will form part of Police Scotland once the powers are devolved.
“I wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice in September 2011 before the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Bill began its Parliamentary journey. In my letter I highlighted that British Transport Police Officers in Scotland trained alongside other Scottish Officers.
“In his reply Mr MasAskill indicated he ‘saw the sense’ in my proposal and would seek a conversation with the UK Government to discuss the issue. Whilst it may have taken longer than I would have liked, I am delighted that this responsibility will now rest with Police Scotland. “