Police 'will sympathise with cuts protestors'

Sympathetic bobby? Police are expected to understand protestors demands.
Sympathetic bobby? Police are expected to understand protestors demands.

By politics.co.uk staff

Protestors against spending cuts next weekend will be policed by "sympathetic" bobbies, according to a union leader.

Paul McKeever, chairman of the rank-and-file Police Federation, said many policemen would be sympathetic to the views of those marching in central London.

"The people policing some of these demonstrations will be facing harsher spending cuts than those who are demonstrating," he said.

"We're not members of the TUC and have to be careful about having too close an association, though there will be a lot of sympathy towards those marching."

Middle and lower level police offers are feeling particularly aggrieved at their deal under the spending cuts, with the force under the same pressures as other parts of the public sector to cut costs.

That contrasts sharply with Margaret Thatcher's approach to policing, when she ensured salaries rose despite extensive spending cuts elsewhere in the economy.

The cuts to the police have even raised the prospect of substantial police demonstrations in central, a sight not seen since 2008, when 20,000 marched over pay.

The anti-cuts protest on March 26th is expected to be a key moment in the continuing debate on economic policy.

For the first time, youth protest movements are expected to team up with traditional trade union activists in a massive march through central London.

Splinter groups are also expected to conduct direct actions in high streets across the country, in the manner made popular by the UK Uncut movement.

Groups will use social media to coordinate their activity on the day, while civil liberties group Liberty will act as legal observers of police action, following complaints of kettling and authoritarian policing at the tuition fees demonstrations last year.


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