Thousands of police officers set to join protest march over cuts

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thousands of police officers from across Yorkshire will take to the streets of London today to take part in a march to highlight their concerns over 20 per cent budget cuts.

More than 700 officers from West Yorkshire Police were expected to attend, along with 270 from South Yorkshire, 210 from Humberside and 200 from North Yorkshire.

The event has been organised by the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers and is due to start at Millbank at noon before passing the Home Office, Downing Street and Trafalgar Square.

Steve Garmston, the chairman of Humberside Police Federation, said officers from across the region were travelling to the capital in their own time, with many setting off at 4.45am to arrive in time for the event.

He added: “The cuts are far too fast and far too deep. I’d like the march to increase public awareness of what is happening now and the effect it will have on the police service in the future.”

Neil Bowles, the chairman of the Federation’s South Yorkshire branch, said: “We are expecting 10 per cent of officers from the force to attend, all in their own time, and that shows how unhappy they are with the way they have been treated by the Government,

“It is the only method of protest we have because officers cannot take other forms of industrial action, and we are hoping that ministers will see the strength of feeling and act to make changes.

Andy Tempest-Mitchell, who chairs the Police Federation in South Yorkshire, said the relationship between the Government and rank and file officers was “deteriorating” and could get worse.

He said officers were unhappy with the Government-commissioned Winsor Report on the future of the police service and added: “We hope that the event will make the Government listen.

“It needs to understand that police officers around the country are really dissatisfied.”