Sussex officers march in protest

Theft from the Co-op.

Theft from the Co-op.

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SUSSEX POLICE officers have taken to the streets of London in protest today (Thursday May 10) over budget cuts to forces across the country.

They join thousands of off-duty officers across England and Wales marching in a bid to voice concerns about cuts of between 20 to 30 per cent and the loss of more than 5,000 front line officers.

However, Sussex Police have ensured residents that it will be ‘business as normal’ despite the protests.

A spokeswoman said: “Officers attending the Police Federation National Rally on May 10 are doing so in their own time and at their own expense.

“Their attendance is not affecting the resilience of the force, where it is business as normal.”

Officers hope to send a clear message of anger to the government.

The march will commence at Millbank, London at noon passing the Home Office, Parliament Square, Whitehall (Downing Street), Trafalgar Square, finishing at Waterloo Place.

Paul McKeever, Police Federation chairman of England and Wales says: “The march is the only way that police officers can demonstrate their anger.

“We have been inundated with messages of support from our colleagues who cannot attend due to their work commitments. The officers marching are doing so in their own time, that’s how strongly they feel. Some will have been travelling since 4am to ensure they can take part.

“The reality of the cuts to policing is really beginning to bite; numbers are beginning to fall rapidly.

“In the past year alone, we have lost over 5,200 police officers from the frontline and we are witnessing the privatisation of core policing roles as chief officers struggle to cope with budget restraints. The government need to be realistic about the outcome of severe cuts to policing; we cannot afford to compromise on public safety.”