HAMPSHIRE police officers will be asked if they want the right to strike as part of a nationwide ballot of officers.

The chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, the organisation that represents rank and file officers in the county, said they will enter the ballot with a heavy heart but said they had “nothing left to lose”.

He said: “Police officers are legally prevented from taking any industrial action, they accept that this is part of the job.

However, faced with an unprecedented attack on our terms and conditions there comes a point when enough is enough.

“Police officers will enter into this ballot with a heavy heart, but when you have nothing left to lose, you have nothing left to lose.”

It comes in the wake of 20 per cent budget cuts and proposals for the most wide-ranging reform of police pay and conditions in more than 30 years, as previously reported in the Daily Echo.

The police and the armed forces are the only public workers banned in law from striking.