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Officer attacks politicians over funding cuts and 'hollow' praise

Published 25/09/2016

The Lord Mayor of London Jeffrey Mountevans, left, and Prince of Wales attend National Police Memorial Day
The Lord Mayor of London Jeffrey Mountevans, left, and Prince of Wales attend National Police Memorial Day
Pc Dave Phillips was struck by a stolen vehicle

Politicians should offer more than "apparent hollow words" in their praise of the police, a serving officer has said as he called for an end to funding cuts.

Angus Morrison, a temporary detective sergeant with Police Scotland, spoke as he attended an annual service commemorating officers killed in the line of duty.

Around 2,000 people including relatives of those who have died as well as the Prince of Wales and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, gathered at St Paul's Cathedral in London to honour fallen officers.

Det Sgt Morrison's brother Detective Constable James Morrison of the Met police was killed almost 25 years ago on his way home from work as he cornered a thief.

Det Sgt Morrison said action, not words, is required when it comes to officers being able to provide a high level of security across the UK.

The 49-year-old spoke out after meeting Ms Rudd, whose department is in charge of policing.

He said: "It is greatly appreciated that senior officers, politicians and alike attend to show their support and offer their kind words.

"However, this type of event should show them that the police service and its officers deserve more than apparent hollow words.

"These cuts are dangerous and increase the risk to those who daily serve the public and, by default, may make the ultimate sacrifice."

He said the modern-day threat of terrorism makes it crucial to properly fund police forces.

"They can't keep cutting the budgets and expect the same level of policing," he said.

He added: "Threats have changed in the 28 years I have been in the police. "Irish terrorism was the issue, but now it's global."

Charles, who is patron of National Police Memorial Day, paid tribute to those he said had "paid the ultimate sacrifice while safeguarding our families, our communities and our liberty".

In the order of service he wrote: "For many of us, the security challenges of today further underscore the importance of the police and their ongoing commitment to protecting us all, despite the inevitable risks that they face on a daily basis."

Among those to be specially remembered was Pc Dave Phillips who was knocked down and killed by a teenage car thief in October last year.

His eight-year-old daughter Abigail lit a candle to remember the 34-year-old who died after he set down a tyre-puncturing stinger device in a bid to stop a stolen vehicle during a police pursuit in Wallasey, Merseyside.

Relatives of other officers killed in the line of duty represented Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as they too lit candles.

Prayers were offered by family members including Paul Bone, father of Constable Fiona Bone, who was murdered by one-eyed gangster Dale Cregan four years ago.

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