UK government strike - 30 000 cops march

2012-05-10 20:19
uk bobby

uk bobby

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - More than 30 000 off-duty police officers marched through London on Thursday and hundreds of thousands of British public sector workers went on strike over the government's austerity measures.

Immigration staff, civil servants, health workers, lecturers and prison officers also took part in the 24-hour strike, the latest in a series of stoppages since the coalition government came to power two years ago.

Police officers from all 43 forces in England and Wales donned black baseball caps emblazoned with the words "Cuts are criminal" as they protested in London against the spending cuts and changes to their pay and pensions.

The police, who under British law are banned from holding strikes, warned that the government's push to cut a record deficit was putting public safety at risk.

Police Federation chairman Paul McKeever said in a speech: "We care very deeply about the communities that we serve. We have seen what happens when we have a government that has given policing a very low priority.

"If you are cutting our jobs, then you are cutting the service we can deliver and the public's safety is at risk."

London's Metropolitan Police said more than 32 000 police took part in the march.

One of those demonstrating, Andy Springthorpe, 47, a sergeant with West Midlands Police which covers Britain's second city of Birmingham, said he had wider concerns than how the cuts would affect him personally.

He said: "It's not just about our pensions, it's about the changes the government wants to impose that will fundamentally change the way we police our communities.

Action futile

"Why repair something that isn't broken? It's very frustrating."

The government says the current pension provisions are unfair and unsustainable because people are living longer.

But trade unions say the plans will force their members to pay more and work longer for lower pensions.

Unions said more than 400 000 people were on strike, but Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, said the figure was "wildly inaccurate" and only about 150 000 civil servants had taken part in the "futile" action.

Maude said: "The combination of the dedicated majority of public service workers who came to work as usual and our rigorous contingency plans ensured that public services were mainly unaffected.

"It is now time that union leaders put the best interests of their members first by asking them to accept our generous offer."

The action on Thursday was far smaller than the strike over pensions by up to two million public sector workers in November.

Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat junior partners in the coalition took a beating in mid-term local elections one week ago.

The results added to worries for Cameron after voters in France and Greece moved decisively against austerity in weekend elections.

Setting out its policies for the coming year in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, the coalition said economic growth was one of its priorities.

But the speech added that "the first priority will be to reduce the deficit and restore economic stability".

Read more on:    uk

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

The route of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic has been announced and it promises to be as challenging as ever!


Where were you when you last felt alive?

4 exercise excuses and how to beat them
Watch: Insane road bike skills!
The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There is a tendency to focus too intently on outer appearance and beauty which hides who you really are. You are being more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.