HAMPSHIRE Police Federation, a body that represents the county’s frontline officers, says morale among members is at breaking point.

Chairman John Apter said: “We have had 20 per cent cuts – deeper than any other public sector organisation, and that’s having a very real and demoralising effect on officers.

“We accept we have to take our fair share of pain but the perception is because we have got no employment rights there’s very little we can do.

“It’s seen that we have been selected by the Government to get an extra kicking.

“There’s not any slack in the system – there’s no resilience on the frontline. We’re down to the bare bones.”

Mr Apter added: “Whoever is elected the Police and Crime Commissioner, I want them to take time to understand the concerns that police officers have and to take time to listen without judging.

“They’re not only there for the public; they need to inspire officers in an uncertain climate.”

Five men and one woman are in the running to be elected as Hampshire’s PCC on November 15. The £85,000-a-year post, which will replace the current Hampshire Police Author-ity, involves setting the police budget, shaping crime-fighting strategies and hiring and firing the chief constable.