Cuts are criminal. That was the message from off-duty police officers, including hundreds from Lancashire, who took to the streets to warn job cuts are putting public safety at risk.
Around 360 from the county joined more than 20,000 officers from all 43 forces across England and Wales to march through central London to demonstrate against planned Government cuts.
Many donned black baseball caps with the words “cuts are criminal”, as they brought parts of the capital to a standstill yesterday.
Rachel Baines, chairman of the 3,100-strong Lancashire Police Federation, said: “All along we have accepted the police service has to take its share of the economies being made in the public sector, we have never asked to be exempt. But it is the level we are being asked to find that alarms us. The police cuts go far too deep.”
Speaking at the rally, Paul McKeever, Police Federation chairman, said: “We care very deeply about the communities we serve.
“We have seen what happens when we have a Government that has given policing a very low priority.
“If you are cutting our jobs, then you are cutting the service we can deliver, and the public’s safety is at risk.”
The officers, banned from striking under law, began marching from Millbank at around noon yesterday in the protest to show “the unprecedented attack on policing by this Government and the consequences that these cuts will have for public safety”.