Staffordshire Police Federation chair Lee Robinson said Liz Truss should make police pay and conditions a top priority of her Government.

The Federation has written to the new Prime Minister, drawing attention to the serious concerns over police pay and working conditions and pointing out that this year’s pay award, which came after the pay freeze of 2021, will barely be sufficient to meet heightened energy costs this winter.

And in a letter congratulating the new Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, the Federation called for urgent talks to discuss the financial and work pressures on its 139,000 members and warned it was unacceptable that police officers have seen a 25 per cent real term pay cut over the last 12 years.

Lee said: “Pay and conditions remains a major cause for concern for our members and in some cases is having an impact on their health and wellbeing.

“Police officers work extremely hard, often in incredibly challenging circumstances, and deserve to be fairly rewarded for the effort they put in and the sacrifices they and their families are expected to make.

“We are calling on the new Home Secretary to make sure their concerns are taken seriously in Westminster and urge her to take steps to address the issues faced by our members.”

Lee pointed out that the relationship between policing and the Government has been placed under “immense strain” in recent years, not least because members have been forced to accept a real-terms pay cut amounting to around 25 per cent over the last decade.

He added: “We have been calling for the balance to be restored and the appointment of a new Home Secretary should provide the perfect opportunity to ensure that happens.”

Police Federation national chair Steve Hartshorn said the importance of forging better relations with the incoming leadership could not be overstated.

He said: “We are now in an inexcusable situation where we have police officers resorting to food vouchers to feed their families and one in seven officers struggling to cover monthly essentials. It is critical that we work together to guarantee a fair and proportionate pay rise for officers in 2023.”

He said the change of Prime Minister and Home Secretary gave the Government the opportunity to show its determination to ensure the public gets the policing it is desperate for and officers once again feel their service is respected.

The Federation has also written to the Chancellor while the Home Secretary on Friday sent an open letter to police leaders.