Police service 'hated' by government, officers told

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Media captionJohn Giblin: "This government hate the police service and want to destroy it"

A senior police official has told officers that government ministers "hate the police service".

John Giblin also said the government wanted to "destroy" the service "in order to rebuild it again, but in their image".

He was speaking at the Police Federation of England and Wales conference in Bournemouth.

Police Minister Nick Herbert said suggesting he or the government hated the police was "simply nonsense".

During his speech Mr Giblin, the sergeants committee chairman, also said that policing was entering "a period of doom, gloom and despondency".

He added that the biggest loser "will be the public whom we all serve and have a duty to protect".

Mr Giblin said: "We acknowledge that some cuts are necessary due to the parlous state of the country's finances, but we feel greatly let down that we are not considered to be a protected priority area by the government.

"They have and will continue to spew out that much-abused mantra that we have to be more effective and efficient, but don't be fooled by this insincere, nihilist, smoke and mirrors, slash and burn policy, for it is in large parts economics and in greater part ideology."

The Police Federation, which represents all police constables, sergeants and inspectors, has published findings from its survey of 42,000 police officers in England and Wales.

It showed 98% of respondents believed morale was falling amid job cuts and proposed changes to pay and conditions.

The federation said 85% of respondents felt that cutting police numbers would have an impact on crime levels.

Conference delegates heard shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper repeat her prediction that ministers were cutting "too far, too fast".

Ms Cooper admitted the Labour government "didn't get the pay process right in 2007, and you made clear the anger officers across the country felt at the time.

"And we did learn lessons from that. That's why the following year, the home secretary and the Police Federation leadership worked hard together to get a three year deal that everyone could support."

Paul McKeever, chairman of the federation, said Home Secretary Theresa May would face tough questions from officers when she delivers a keynote speech on Wednesday.

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