THE Government’s pay rise for police officers has been called derisory and insulting by Wiltshire Police Federation.

It says funding restrictions are forcing management to choose between police numbers and public safety.

And Angus Macpherson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, has described the rise as unfair on police staff, who are not included.

The federation's statement coincides with an open letter from the National Police Federation to the Prime Minister demanding that the Government is more open about the terms of its pay award to police.

The Government has announced it would be lifting the one per cent pay cap for public sector workers and authorising a two per cent rise for police next year.

“Our members are angry, and our chief constable and police commissioner have been put in an impossible situation, as they are already facing monumental cuts in the budget," said Inspector David Ibbott, the chairman of the Wiltshire Police Federation.

“We feel the Government has not been truthful and honest about the pay award given to officers, and that is insulting.

“The two per cent awarded has to come from existing policing budgets, which means Wiltshire Police may have to choose between officer numbers and public safety. That cannot be right.

“In Wiltshire, crime is on the way up, and nationally cyber-crime has exploded.

“Officers are having to do more and more and demands for ‘extra’ police officers being on patrol are not ‘extra’ police officers.

“They are the same officers doing longer hours, being called back in when they are off or being given extra responsibilities. It is all smoke and mirrors and double standards.”

The National Police Federation letter to the Government said: “On behalf of the hard-working officers who are working to the bone to protect our people, who fight to protect our communities and who keep you safe, we demand answers.

“And we demand you tell the public the truth. About crime figures. About police numbers. About the ‘extra’ officers you pledge. About ‘extra’ money you say you will pay.

“No more smoke. No more mirrors. No more double standards.”

The appeal was supported by Angus Macpherson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon.

He said: “As far as the national increase for officers is concerned it is a welcome development because we have been finding it increasingly hard to recruit. But it doesn’t keep pace with inflation and so doesn’t go far enough.

“Also it’s unfair to miss out police staff – many have frontline roles and deliver crucial services.

“The issue of parity for police staff is being negotiated nationally at the Police Staff Council and it is looking at the same offer for staff as police officers. I am strongly in favour of our staff receiving the same increase as their officer colleagues.”