British Transport Police chief condemned for making trips between homes in Glasgow and Yorkshire

A British Transport Police chief in Scotland has been criticised for making trips between his homes in Glasgow and Yorkshire home during lockdown.

Chief Superintendent Eddie Wylie, who heads up British Transport Police in Scotland, has been criticised for making two trips between his Glasgow flat and his home in Holmfirth, Yorkshire. PIC: Contributed/Holmfirth/Flickr.

Chief Superintenent Eddie Wylie made the 480-mile round trips between his Glasgow flat and his main home in Holmfirth in Yorkshire between March 21 and May 13.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said that Mr Wylie had “serious questions to answer” about the journeys.

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But British Transport Police today backed the senior officer, saying there had been no breach of lockdown restrictions given the journeys were necessary in order for him to carry out his job.

A complaint was made about Mr Wylle’s conduct via the force’s confidential whistelblower system, according to a report in the Daily Record.

The employee told the newspaper that BTP staff were “ angered” about the journeys made by the senior officer.

The anonymous source said: “The whole place is honestly really angry and frustrated with him.

“He kept his house in Yorkshire and that’s where he and his wife generally stay.

“The whole place knows he’s doing it, which makes it worse, as he’s got no justification for driving back down to Yorkshire other than seeing his wife – but that’s obviously not allowed in these circumstances, given the distance he’s travelling to do so.”

Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard said it looked like a case of "one rule for him, one rule for the rest of us”.

Mr Leonard added: “British Transport Police officers are currently playing a crucial role as guardians of the lockdown. Alongside the Scottish Government and Police Scotland, the BTP’s message has rightly been to stay at home and avoid any unnecessary travel.

“People across Scotland and the whole UK have made huge sacrifices during this time, including missing family funerals and spending precious time away from their loved ones.

“But it seems as if the BTP’s top officer in Scotland has failed to learn the lessons of the Catherine Calderwood debacle, and believes there is one rule for him, and one rule for the rest of us.

“This could have serious consequences for the BTP’s ability to police the lockdown, which could in turn endanger public safety in Scotland.

“Eddie Wylie has serious questions to answer.”

British Transport Poilce today said no action would be taken against Mr Wylie.

A statement said: “Chief Superintendent Wylie’s residential family home is in Yorkshire. As he is responsible for BTP policing in Scotland, he personally rents a single occupancy flat in Glasgow, for the purposes of essential overnight stays.

“Since the restrictions came into force, Chief Superintendent Wylie has been staying in the Glasgow flat. He has returned to his residential family home in Yorkshire on two separate occasions, between 21st March and 13th May. Both times, he travelled home alone and by car to minimise any possible exposure to others and ensure there was no risk to any members of the public.

“British Transport Police is a national police force with its headquarters in London, and as such our officers are required to regularly travel across England, Scotland and Wales for essential meetings or as operationally required. In these instances, Chief Superintendent Wylie will stay at whichever address is the most convenient.

“Our officers can be posted anywhere in the UK, at any time. This means it is not unusual for them to have their family home in one part of the country and rent other accommodation nearer to where they are currently stationed.

“Crucially, the restrictions state that people should only leave the place they are living if they have a reasonable excuse. This includes travelling for the purposes of work where it is not reasonably possible for that person to work from the place they are living. It would not be reasonably possible for Chief Superintendent Wylie to perform his role solely from either the Glasgow address, or his home in Yorkshire.

DCC Adrian Hanstock said: “We are satisfied that there has been no breach of the COVID-19 regulations in this case, and there will be no misconduct investigation into Chief Superintendent Wylie’s travel or his leadership. Furthermore, Chief Superintendent Wylie is a highly respected officer, and I have full confidence in both his integrity and his ability to perform his duties.”

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