The Home Secretary will be accused of presiding over a “kick a cop” policy today as a police leader says her spending cuts “stink”.
Theresa May faces a hostile reception as she addresses disenchanted rank and file officers who claim the 20% slash in funding will send services into meltdown.
In a sign of growing resentment on the front line, Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation for England and Wales, will tell her: “This isn’t reform, this is revenge.”
In his speech to the federation’s annual conference in Bournemouth, Mr McKeever adds: “We appear to have a Home Office policy that can simply be defined as ‘be kind to criminals, kick a cop’.
“Police officers can smell unfairness and under-handedness at 1,000 metres. Home Secretary, this stinks.”
During his attack on the government, Mr McKeever will question whether the cuts are “payback” after police resisted spending reforms in 1993, during the previous Conservative government.
Mr McKeever adds: “Is this really more about payback for perceived slights in the past? Home Secretary, this isn’t reform, this is revenge.”
Mrs May will defend the government’s cost-cutting stance despite accusations from the federation that the government hates and “wants to destroy” the police.
Mr McKeever has already predicted the 20% cuts could be “catastrophic”, sending forces into “meltdown”.
“If the police service fails, there is nothing else there for communities,” he added.
Services have entered a period of “doom, gloom and despondency”, John Giblin, chairman of the Police Federation sergeants committee, said.