Police to go on protest march
- Published 07/05/12 6:00 am
Every single officer will be there in their own time, including many who have taken a day's holiday to attend.
The purpose is to demonstrate to the Government the strength of feeling that officers have towards the "disgraceful way" they are being treated.
It will be the biggest demonstration ever organised by the British Police in its history.
Simon Roberts, chairman of the Cheshire Police Federation, said: "I personally will have mixed emotions on the day. On one hand I will be very proud of the 200 officers from Cheshire who have made the effort to attend.
"I will be equally proud of at least that number again who have not been able to attend as they could not secure annual leave or time off. It shows what I have always believed, that we care.
"On the other hand I will be very sad. Officers will be walking along streets that nine months ago they defended from groups of violent rioters. This Government needs to sit up and take note.
"The same officers who stood defiantly, shoulder to shoulder to defend The capital have now resorted to marching along its streets to have their collective voice heard."
Mr Roberts said the way the Government was proposing to change the police service would have a devastating effect on the way the streets are policed.
"It cannot be the same and it won't be the same. They will make the police service unfit for purpose and then to fix the problem they will hive off large parts of the service to the private sector.
"We are already seeing this up and down the country. Do you want a police force in your area that answers to a group of shareholders or the local community?
"We police Cheshire with the consent of its communities. We are able to do that because we are part of those communities.
"As officer numbers decrease we remain committed to protecting our front line services. That comes at a cost. I believe our community engagement will decrease - something has to give.
"We are feeling the strain. A recent staff survey sent a clear message to the Chief Constable and our leaders. Officers and support staff are very unhappy. Contrary to some reports, the police service works a lot of the time due to the goodwill of officers. It saddens me to say that goodwill is slowly fading away."