A number of traditional Remembrance Day parades have been called off as police pull out, insisting they have ‘no choice’.
Campaigners have accused senior officers of breaking the ‘Poppy Day’ tradition which honours those who lost their lives serving the British army, but the police forces insist they have no choice due to Government cuts, writes the Express.
Volunteers are now battling to raise hundreds of pounds to hire professional traffic management firms to meet strict health and safety standards.
Poppy Day is cancelled by the police: Outrage as forces insist they cannot afford to man remembrance parades amid … … pic.twitter.com/UllOhYkPEv
— Remembrance Day (@LestWeForgetUK) October 21, 2017
Numerous cities across the country dedicate a day to distributing poppies with The Royal British Legion, as part of their biggest fundraising campaign held every November, the period of Remembrance. This raises vital funds to help the Armed Forces community.
Poppies are used as the iconic symbol of remembrance as they were the first flowers to grow in the Northern France and Flanders battlefields at the end of the First World War
But now parade organisers in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, need to raise £800 if the event is to go ahead, according to the Express.
The Remembrance Day parade in the town is usually attended by around 10,000 people.
82-year-old Jock Bryson runs the Melton Mowbray’s Royal British Legion poppy appeal, he said he was ‘disgusted’ by the news.
I feel disgusted that people went to war and gave their lives and now, all of a sudden, the police are saying they are not going to help us this year.
West Midlands Police has also had to withdraw support for some of the Remembrance Sunday parades, according to the Express.
Councillor Neil Eustace said the Remembrance Sunday event in Stechford, Birmingham had been affected.
The local sergeant sounded quite sheepish. He apologised but said they can’t provide any officers.
Police have turned up for decades to close the roads with the minimum of fuss – now it’s all a massive headache.
Organisers of a parade in Mapperley, Nottinghamshire, said they were ‘gobsmacked’ when police told them they won’t be on hand to marshal traffic this year.
Frank Mullen, 80, who served in the Royal Signals, said:
It is ridiculous. It is going to be cancelled because the police can’t be there and we can’t by law stop traffic.
We are one of the richest countries and they can’t even afford three or four police officers for an hour’s work.
Responsibility for road closures has fallen on local authorities since a change in the law in 2004.
But until now police have generally continued to help run Remembrance Sunday parades.
Andy Lee, Leicestershire Chief Superintendent said manning the roads ‘had an impact on their day-to-day operations’ so it ‘had to stop’.
And, according to the Express, Nottinghamshire Police said they are not ‘the most appropriate organisation for traffic management’.
For many, this day is associated with those who died in the First and Second World Wars, but while we will always remember them The Royal British Legion is asking all of us to Rethink Remembrance, and support a new generation of veterans and Service personnel who need our support.
A sentiment echoed by Prime Minister Theresa May, who has said that today isn’t only about honouring the dead, but paying tribute to our armed forces who are currently on duty, fighting the so-called Islamic State.
The way of life we enjoy today depends upon the service offered by members of the armed forces and their families. Across generations, and in every corner of the UK, today we remember those who gave so much for our values, our democracy, and our nation.
Lest we forget.