One of the biggest Remembrance Sunday Parades faces being cancelled due to police cuts imposed by the Government.
Leicestershire Police have confirmed they do not have the staffing levels to be able to support the parade within Melton Mowbray happening next month.
If the parade is to go ahead as planned the Royal British Legion will be forced to pay for a private firm to marshal the route on November 12th.
Melton Mowbray is very much an active military town with the prospect of the cancellation causing anger amongst the locals
Jock Bryson aged 82 who organises parade has spoken about his devastation and shock saying ‘It’s so important to Melton that we keep holding the parade, and the atmosphere is so phenomenal with the serving and ex-serving people marching through town.’
The Melton Mowbray community are now holding raffles and bake sales in an attempt to raise money to pay for private security to attend the march.
Sadly cuts to policing have had a huge impact on Leicestershire Police there is now 500 fewer officers within the force that there was 8 years ago, simply there are not enough cops.
Leicestershire Police said that there are around 500 fewer officers in the county than there were eight years ago.
Ch Sup Andy Lee said: ‘As a force we are keen to pay our respects and remember the fallen, and at some of the larger parades there will be a visible police presence to engage with the community and maintain public safety. ‘In order to support these Remembrance Day events we need to carefully manage our resources to ensure business-as-usual continues, and that our level of service across the whole county is maintained. ‘In previous years, officers in attendance at parades have been involved in assisting with road closures and traffic management along parade routes due to the lack of formal traffic management arrangements.
‘However, this had an impact on our day-to-day operations and demands. With budget cuts and reductions in officer numbers, we have to ensure officers are deployed where the operational risk is greatest and that there is a sufficient number of officers on duty to be able to respond to any incident.
‘This is not something that we can sustain alongside making sure we are able to respond to incidents anywhere in the county.’ Jim Rawlinson, chairman of the county’s Royal British Legion, said they could still put on a parade – but it would be trimmed down. ‘It’s a national problem, but it’s just caused us to think differently about things,’ he said ‘The parades will all go on, but people will have to marshal them themselves.’