Staffordshire Police Federation chair Phil Jones has stressed the need for “long term, sustainable funding” in response to leaked Government proposals for a reservist police force.

According to a report from the Telegraph, the Government has suggested persuading professionals from the private sector to volunteer their time and skills during periods of high demand.

Their numbers would be supplemented by retired officers, or those who have left the service early.

Phil said: “To put it simply, this proposal does not address the very real challenges faced by police officers every day. Reservist forces already exist for policing – we don’t need another one.

“What we need, and what we have been very clear about calling for, is long-term, sustainable funding that can be used to develop policing for many years to come.”

Phil was also reacting to comments made by John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), who pointed out “we already have a group of dedicated, professional, fully-warranted volunteers called Special Constables, who give up thousands of unpaid hours a month while facing the same risks and dangers as regular officers.”

John added: “In addition to the fantastic contribution Special Constables make, the service needs sustainable, long-term funding to make a tangible difference, not a Government scrabbling about to see who will do policing for free.”