‘When the dust settles, there should be reflection on the fact that creating new broad criminal offences in society without political or legal consensus is extremely problematic. Further targeting of one group in society for criminal sanction – in this case football supporters – is difficult to justify’.
‘The BTP merger isn’t what it said on the tin and, if anything, now looks like a threat to both the future of Scottish policing and railway policing on both sides of the border.’
“It (review of timetable for BTP merger) needs to be independent, transparent and at arm’s length from government. Oversight by a board that is co-chaired by senior civil servants and reports to Scottish Ministers doesn’t pass this test and would allow the Scottish Government to mark its own homework.
The fact that Gormley had direct oversight of undercover policing at the Met before he became Scotland’s chief constable just adds another curious twist to the ongoing Police Scotland saga. Now his resignation puts to rest one long-running element of what many consider a damning indictment of Scotland’s centralised police force. But lack of institutional reform and the blurring of accountability means further problems will surely not be far away.
‘As 2018 begins, policing in Scotland is in crisis: no chief constable, a justice minister facing political and legal challenges over his behaviour and a national police authority forced to re-establish its reputation and define its role. A close examination of the structures is urgently needed if this crisis is to be resolved’.
‘Having failed to resolve these differences prior to the Act, as well as a myriad of other problems, the realities of integration are now coming to the fore, while the baton has passed to the SPA. Charged with providing assurance and oversight, the Authority has some exceptionally hard decisions ahead on what is a fiendishly complex project, against a backdrop of rising demand on police services and increasing cost pressure.’
‘To reiterate, our concerns in no way reflect the abilities, experience or skills of Hogg, or other Scottish Government secondees. The issue is the independence of the SPA and the fact that the water between police and government now looks even muddier’.
‘With only eighteen months until integration, the fact that the status of BTP Scotland officers transferring to Police Scotland remains unresolved should ring further loud alarm bells…At this stage in the process, I’d argue that the Scottish Government would do well to take stock and decide what price it is prepared to put on this merger’.
‘The question now seems to be why are these fundamental issues of governance and accountability only now are being exposed, and with such serious consequences? This debate should have occurred before a centralised police force was established four years ago’.
‘The decision to integrate BTP in Scotland may be political; however, the merger is a matter of public safety and public money, and the Government has a duty to demonstrate that it is not taking undue risks with either’. Foremost expert backs calls for merger to be put on hold.