Popular Remembrance Day parade called off due to police cutbacks

A popular South Yorkshire Remembrance Day parade has been called off due to police cutbacks meaning there are a lack of officers to staff the event.

Friday, 21st October 2016, 9:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 4:44 pm
Police cutbacks have reduced the number of officers available to staff Remembrance Day parades in South Yorkshire

Villagers living in North and South Anston in the Rotherham borough have been told they cannot hold their annual parade between the two villages this year because police cutbacks mean South Yorkshire Police do not have enough officers to spare to provide a rolling roadblock for those taking part in the event.

Jon Salthouse, from the 35th North Anston Scout Group, said he had been informed that similar decisions have been made about other planned parades across Rotherham.

The Anston parade involves local Scouts, Brownies, Guides and their parents.

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"We were told we couldn't parade full-stop," he said.

"We asked the question about doing our own security, with flashing beacons at the front and back. But we were told we couldn't for a parade like that because you are doing a rolling roadblock and need council permission. We have to cross the main A57 at South Anston so we couldn't do it without support."

Mr Salthouse said he hoped 'a way around' the situation could be found, possibly by officers volunteering their time to staff the parade.

Unless a solution can be found, instead of the normal parade - which has been taking place on the same route for over 20 years - there will just be a church service.

Mr Salthouse said he was disappointed the community would not be able to mark Remembrance Sunday in the normal way.

He said: "I just think it is a little bit strange really. It is just sad.

"Remembrance Sunday is not just World War I and World War II, it is for everything that has gone on since then, Afghanistan and Iraq."

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police said 'resources are limited' and the force is unable to provide assistance at all Remembrance Day parades across the county.

She said: "The force completely understands that Remembrance Day events are of national importance and support will be provided at various parades, but resources are limited.

"Last year was the first year that police were not able to provide staff to assist at all Remembrance Day parades across the borough.

"We will be contacting the various organisers of the parades to give guidance on road closures.

"Planning for this year's events is currently under way and will be managed through the Local Policing Teams."

*Has your Remembrance Day event in South Yorkshire been affected by police cutbacks? Please contact [email protected]