Karen Bradley MP urges police not to ask to strike
An MP has urged serving police officers not to vote in favour of campaigning to be given the right to strike.
Representatives from West Midlands, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Mercia police forces met on Thursday to discuss asking for the right.
It is over plans for major changes to pay and conditions and 20% budget cuts.
Karen Bradley, Conservative MP for Staffordshire Moorlands, said she hoped they would vote against it whatever their views about the current issues.
But Labour MP for Erdington, Jack Dromey told Sunday Politics that police men and women feel bitter about the new reforms and the government should listen carefully to their concerns.Change 'unsettling'
He said: "They are bitter about the way they have been treated - 1,200 being forced out, many of them in their prime, 48 and 49 year olds under A19 (forced retirement regulation).
"Their pay and conditions under pressure, under attack but also increasingly the model of community policing that they believe in being denigrated by government."
The Police Federation is balloting its 135,000 members nationwide asking if they want full industrial rights.
West Midlands federation chairman Ian Edwards said at the meeting last week that police are "under a deliberate and sustained attack" from the government.
West Midlands Police Federation has conducted a poll of its members and said that, within 24 hours, more than 1,200 officers had responded with 92% in favour of seeking the right to strike.
Ms Bradley told Sunday Politics she understood that change could be "unsettling".
She said: "I can understand that there feels like there's a lot of change going on and change is very unsettling.
"But what we've got to do is make sure we have got a police service that actually can be sustainable for the future and that we actually have the best police service in the world as we do at the moment."