West Midlands police face service reduction to fund Pope visit
The number of police officers on the beat in Birmingham may have to be slashed in a bid to foot the soaring cost of policing the Pope’s visit to the city next month.
Bob Jones, head of finance at West Midlands Police, said the force may have no choice but to reduce staffing levels to foot the multi-million pound bill to fund Pope Benedict XVI’s visit.
“We are already looking at reducing the number of staff and police officers in future years, but if we have to pay the costs of the [papal] visit, that process will be accelerated,” he said.
“Why should the people of the West Midlands face a lower level of service from the police because of a state visit? The Government should be funding this.”
Or, indeed, the Vatican!
Full article: http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west-midlands-news/2010/08/08/pope-visit-could-cost-jobs-of-west-midlands-police-officers-65233-27023142/
The British Humanist Association is a founding member of the Protest the Pope campaign, demonstrating against the official nature of the Pope’s state visit next month.