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article imageUK police protest 'criminal' cuts (video)

By Anne Sewell     May 16, 2012 in World
London - It's not just the Occupy and 15m movements out on the streets lately. 34,000 police in the United Kingdom are protesting salary cuts and loss of jobs.
With worries over public safety, as well as cuts in staff, salaries and benefits, the police are currently policing their own protests on the streets of the United Kingdom.
The protesters claim that with less police out on the streets, people will no longer feel safe. However criminals will feel safer with the lack of policing.
Police protesting cuts in the United Kingdom.
Police protesting cuts in the United Kingdom.
Video screen capture
35,000 officers from across England and Wales are protesting on the streets, with 16,000 officers to lose their jobs over the next four years.
Over 5,000 officers have lost their jobs in the past year alone, and police pay and pensions will be slashed in the 20% cuts.
As one police officer states on the video, "We won't be able to provide a service that is as efficient as it is at the moment. ...... As a direct result public safety will suffer."
As part of the cuts, probation officers are also set to lose employment. The government wants to replace them with machines, removing yet another barrier protecting the public.
Machines intended to replace probation officers in the UK.
Machines intended to replace probation officers in the UK.
Video screen capture
Probation officers are supposed to stop criminals from re-offending with nothing but a series of "yes, no" questions. These machines will be put on trial first in parts of London but, as the interviewer states, "without a lie detector, these machines are not exactly the Spanish Inquisition."
Harry Fletcher of the National Association of Probation Officers says, "It's a nonsense to suggest that a machine could do the job of a human being. There's a real likelihood and danger that public protection in Britain will become compromised if these machines are rolled out nationally. Defiant behavior, deteriorating behavior will be missed, and those people will go on and commit serious crimes against the public."
The government insists that these machines are not meant to cut costs with the U.K. Minister of Justice stating, "This is a misrepresentation, the London Probation Trust is investigating a range of innovative approaches to allow professionals to cut bureaucracy and spend their time more effectively with the offenders they supervise. Public protection will always be our priority."
However, the people charged with the role disagree. It has been four years since police officers last marched en masse through London and police officers involved say that these protests will continue if the government carries through with the cuts.
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