Cambs police would support right to strike

VIRTUALLY every police officer on the beat in Cambridgeshire would like the right to strike, according to the Police Federation. The federation, which represents rank and file officers, is to lobby the Government for increased industrial rights after offi

VIRTUALLY every police officer on the beat in Cambridgeshire would like the right to strike, according to the Police Federation.

The federation, which represents rank and file officers, is to lobby the Government for increased industrial rights after officers after a pay dispute.

Figures released by the federation last week show the strength of feeling among officers from around the country - 80 per cent of police in Cambridgeshire were said to back the move for the power to strike.

The response was similar across the region with 85 per cent in Norfolk and 86 per cent in Suffolk. Traditionally police are banned from striking in the interests of public safety.

Sgt David Smith, chairman of the Cambridgeshire Police Federation, said: "This shows that there is a lot of unrest amongst police officers, including those in Cambridgeshire, at how we are being treated by the Home Secretary. We are not saying we will vote to strike because that is a long way down the road but we want the right to strike."

The move comes after home secretary Jacqui Smith refused to backdate this year's 2.5 per cent rise affectingly making it a 1.9 per cent increase.

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The federation is still waiting for the findings of a judicial review which could overrule Ms Smith's decision.