North Yorkshire Police have announced that they will no longer handle traffic management for parades, including remembrance parades, ending a practice that has lasted for decades. They claim this is because of changes to the law in 2004 and subsequent changes to guidance from professional bodies representing police. They also say that they are now out-of-step with other police forces who ceased traffic management of remembrance parades many years ago.
Andrew Jones wrote to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner asking her to review the force’s decision and reinstate police support at remembrance parades. The Chief Constable replied outlining the legal position and the guidance from professional bodies.
Remembrance is about our public services coming together and facilitating a collective act of tribute not just to those who have fallen in our armed forces but those in the emergency services who have given their lives that we can be free.
The parades are an integral part of this and an important tradition that will be lost without traffic management.
The sudden decision by North Yorkshire Police has endangered that tradition and left little time to put in place alternative arrangements.
Andrew has written again to the Chief Constable asking her to reinstate police traffic management for remembrance this year. Recognising that the police want to stop traffic management duties, Andrew has asked that the Chief Constable meet with him and parade organisers to discuss a managed handover of traffic management to volunteers, community groups or council staff.
Mr Jones continued:
If the police want to stop traffic management for remembrance it is an operational decision. I think it is a poor decision but in the final analysis it is their decision to take.
But the sudden announcement means there is little opportunity to save this year’s parades. That is why I am asking them to reconsider the approach for this year and then work with community groups to ensure they have the capacity and knowledge to provide the support for future years.
I am hopeful that by taking a constructive and collaborative approach we can save these much-loved parts of our remembrance in which the police join and in which we remember the fallen among their number too.