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Heckled May faces calls to resign
The Home Secretary faced calls to resign as she was told she had lost the trust of the police.
Theresa May was heckled and booed as she told officers from across England and Wales that they should stop pretending the police were being picked on.
Several officers called for her to resign, while others shouted that she was corrupt, after she told rank-and-file officers they should see through the changes to their pay and conditions for the good of the country.
Simon Payne, of Warwickshire Police Federation, told her: "Home Secretary, you may not like this, but we no longer trust you in the police service. Full stop. End of story."
The comments came after Mrs May spent almost two hours listening to officers' concerns and answering questions at the annual Police Federation conference in Bournemouth.
But she left to a chorus of boos and shouts of "resign" when host John Stapleton asked Mrs May what she could do to win back that trust.
Mrs May said later: "I can only tell them as it is and not as they would like to hear it from me.
"I have to be honest with them about the financial situation, I have to be honest with them about the Government's desire for reform, and I have been.
"This is a deal. There will be more accountability through police and crime commissioners, but we will free you up to do your job. We're delivering on that."
The officers' concerns come after Mrs May asked former rail regulator Tom Winsor to carry out the most wide-ranging review of police pay and conditions in more than 30 years.
Earlier, the 1,200-strong crowd erupted when the federation's chairman Paul McKeever mocked Mrs May.
When no-one moved after he asked anyone who thought Mr Winsor's review was independent to put their hand up, he addressed the Home Secretary, saying: "I notice not even you put your hand up."
Mrs May stared at Mr McKeever as the questions continued.
Officers also cheered and stamped their feet as Mr Stapleton told Mrs May that officers felt Mr Winsor's review bore a "remarkable resemblance to a speech made by the Prime Minister" six years ago.
The Home Secretary said: "In terms of the speech David Cameron made, I think it was six years ago now, we've never said anything other than we believe that some reform was needed."
She added that she also wanted the review to be carried out by someone who was independent of policing.
But a series of officers lined up to air their complaints and anger over the Winsor review proposals.
Steve Thornton, of the federation's Staffordshire branch, said his force was reducing its numbers to 1,750 by 2015, taking it back to 1970s' levels.
"Can you explain to the people of Staffordshire why they should feel safe with you in charge?" he said.
Referring to the sign on stage saying, "Cutting police by 20% is criminal?", he added: "The writing's on the wall."
Another federation member, Dave Bennett, told Mrs May: "Home Secretary, I believe you are a disgrace."
He challenged Mrs May over the proposal to reduce constables' starting salaries.
Sam Roberts, of North Wales Police, added: "To pay a probationer £19,000 is disgusting."
Mrs May said no decision had been taken.
But Ian Pointon, of the Kent Police Federation, told Mrs May her speech gave the impression that the proposals were a "done deal" which would see "the end of policing by consent".
Turning to the pace of change, Ian Leyland, of Merseyside Police Federation, urged Mrs May to "slow down and listen to us".
She said she did listen and take notice when more than 30,000 off-duty officers marched through the streets of London in a protest against the cuts last week.
Sergeant Pete Oliver, of the Thames Valley Federation, said there was nothing in Mr Winsor's proposals which was not "shameful and dishonourable".
Ken Davies, of the federation's Cheshire branch, also told Mrs May her reforms were not affordable or manageable.
He said: "You've taken and will take 16,000 constables away from the frontline."
Officers will simply not be there the next time rioters take to the streets, as they did last summer, he said.
Mrs May announced that she would extend police powers to enable officers to prosecute traffic offences where the defendant does not enter a plea or turn up at court.
Police will also be given further powers "to prosecute a wider range of low-level offences", with the details announced later this summer, she said.
"These changes should allow the police to prosecute up to half a million cases every year," she said.
"That's around half of all cases currently heard in magistrates' courts."
But the option of the right to strike was "off the table", she insisted, adding: "Keeping our communities safe is simply too important."
Mrs May told the officers it was not true that the Government was singling out policing, adding that while the 20% budget cuts were challenging, they must be seen through "for the good of our country".
"Let's stop pretending the police are being picked on," she said.
"Every part of the public sector is having to take its share of the pain."
But Mr McKeever said he was concerned that Mr Winsor's proposed focus on credentials, qualifications, technical skills and accreditation in a "cobbled-together" professional body risked that policing would lose its key values of fairness and integrity.
This move away from core values has already been seen in other parts of the public sector, such as nursing, he said.
"I'm concerned that we could too easily lose our way," he said.
"Home Secretary, do not allow that to happen to the core values of policing."
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "It is clear that the Home Secretary has lost the respect and support of thousands of police officers across the country who want to do their job and keep us safe.
"It's time the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Home Secretary started to listen to communities and police officers across the country.
"Efficiencies can be made, sensible reform should be undertaken but the loss of 16,000 police officers is crazy, and it will be communities across the country that pay the price."