ANTI-cuts campaigners protested outside the BIC as the Home Secretary was inside facing an angry gathering of police officers, writes Lauren Murray.

They gathered as Theresa May addressed the annual conference of the Police Federation.

Kevin Smith of the Bournemouth and Poole Anti-cuts Coalition (BPACC) said: “Police are facing the cuts that all the public sector is facing – they’re facing a higher retirement age, having to work longer and receive less. The police are just one aspect of it: every sector of society is being savaged by the cuts.”

He added: “If people are concerned about the deficit the way to get it down is to invest, you can’t cut your way out of a recession.”

Inside the hall, Mrs May was heckled and booed as she told officers that they should stop pretending the police were being picked on.

She spent almost two hours listening to officers’ concerns and answering questions.

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 commissioners, but we will free you up to do your job.”