Police stay away from Harrogate Remembrance service because they haven’t been trained how to march

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A YORKSHIRE police force has taken the bizarre decision not join a Remembrance Sunday parade because it says its officers do not have enough “marching experience”.

North Yorkshire Police officers have traditionally paraded in Harrogate alongside other organisations, including North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and the Scouts and Guides.

But the force has decided officers will not take part in the parade to Harrogate’s war memorial this year because of their lack of military marching experience.

A spokesman at the regional office of the Royal British Legion said she had never heard of any police force using that explanation for not joining a Remembrance Sunday parade.

She added that other groups taking part did not have to have formal marching training and were there simply to show their respect for the sacrifice of soldiers in former and current conflicts.

A police spokesman said: “Unfortunately, due to retirements and people being transferred to other areas, Harrogate police do not have a sufficient number of officers with the correct military marching experience to have the capacity to take part in this year’s Remembrance Sunday parade.

“However, North Yorkshire Police will still be represented in Harrogate on Remembrance Sunday by Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, who will be attending the memorial service at Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery.”