‘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 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.
The UK Government has published plans to maintain a border-free zone with Ireland once it has left the EU. Analysing the long-awaited paper, Professor Christina Boswell, finds it knocks out one of the main arguments for refusing Scotland more autonomy over its immigration policy
‘The prevention of DRDs in Scotland requires an immediate and radical harm reduction led response, developed in collaboration with people who use drugs….The tragedy of Scotland’s spiralling deaths from drug use is everyone’s problem. The time for brave leadership and concerted action is now.
‘While the risks and complexities associated with extricating BTPs operations in Scotland are now coming to the fore, the advantages look increasingly distant.’
‘It’s now also clear that standing up to the political impulse to go national, fast, would have enabled the costs to be pinned down better before the long-term commitment was made…
.’.the allocation of an additional £1bn funding to Northern Ireland over two years represents a particularly large financial settlement to have bypassed Barnett. To secure an equivalent funding increase via the Barnett Formula, the UK Government would have had to increase comparable English spending by £30bn; this in turn would have generated Scottish consequentials of £3bn..’
‘The SPA should be made accountable to the Scottish Parliament, not to Ministers, and the appointment of the Chair and Board made subject to cross-party approval. Taking the politics out policing appointments…’
‘We believe there are now grounds for a review of the Scottish government’s treatment of and policies for dealing with freedom of information requests, and would urge the Scottish government to address these concerns by immediately acting within the spirit and letter of Scotland’s freedom of information legislation’.
“As far as the UK is concerned, the facts are absolutely clear. Those of us who believe in the economic and social benefits of an open, welcoming society should not be shy about using them.”