The Government has urged cash-strapped police forces to save money - by getting cheaper prices for basic equipment.
But Ministers came under fire from Labour, who accused them of trying to divert attention from the impact of massive budget cuts.
Figures published for the first time show that West Midlands Police paid £16.48 each for belts for officers - while other forces bought them for as little as £3.30.
It also revealed differences in the cost of full body armour, with West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police both paying £347.00, while Staffordshire Police spent £228.00.
It followed a warning from the police and crime commissioner of West Midlands Police that the force may mount a legal challenge against the Government over plans to fund policing in the future.
The Home Office launched a consultation about the new funding formula in July, which will see £7.8 billion divided up between different forces.
But the government department has not provided any examples to police forces about the way the money received would change.
Chief Constable Chris Sims confirmed during a meeting of the Strategic Police and Crime Board meeting that the force would look at its legal options.
And police and crime commissioner David Jamieson said: “Any approach that protects the people of the West Midlands by giving us a fair deal won’t be ruled out.”
The National Audit Office (NAO) has already warned that the force has been hit harder than other forces by spending cuts so far. It has lost £126 million since 2010 with total spending power cut by 23 per cent in the last five years.
Publishing the procurement data, Mike Penning, Minister for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice & Victims, said: “Since 2010, police forces have increasingly worked together to buy goods and services and reaped over £200 million in savings by doing so.
“But there remains more to do. It makes no sense for forces to buy separately when money can be saved if they act together. That is why I have published key police procurement information on the prices that forces currently pay for the most common items of uniforms and equipment.
“This will help the public and police and crime commissioners hold chief constables to account for how they spend taxpayers’ money and, crucially, reveal potential opportunities for further savings.”
Birmingham Erdington MP Jack Dromey, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister, said: “Forces such as the West Midlands Police may see as much as 50% of their funding slashed over the next few years.
“Better procurement alone will not be enough to ensure that forces have the resources to do their duty and protect the public, and Mike Penning should not suggest otherwise.”
He added: “The police minister is blaming the police for the Government’s failure. Significant savings can be made but will only be realised through a strategic national approach to procurement.
“Labour proposed precisely that before the General Election, pointing to £172 million a year in savings that could be made. The Government rejected our sensible proposals. It is Ministers who are responsible for the failure on procurement.
“Of course sensible savings on procurement should be sought. However, such savings will be dwarfed by the scale of the Government’s reckless cuts to the policing budget which will see 22,000 more police officers go on top of the 17,000 who have already gone.”
How much does it cost?
Staffordshire Police: £3.91
Warwickshire Police: £3.30
West Mercia Police: £3.30
West Midlands Police: £16.48
Staffordshire Police: £28.90
Warwickshire Police: £28.90
West Mercia Police: £28.90
West Midlands Police: £28.90
High visibility jacket
Staffordshire Police: £71.95
Warwickshire Police: £69.95
West Mercia Police: £69.95
West Midlands Police: Not used
Full body armour
Staffordshire Police: £228.00
Warwickshire Police: £347.00
West Mercia Police: £347.00
West Midlands Police: £288.16
Staffordshire Police: £16.95
Warwickshire Police: £15.60
West Mercia Police: £15.60
West Midlands Police: £16.95
Staffordshire Police: £82.91 (the force now recycles old batons rather than buying new ones)
Warwickshire Police: £53.48
West Mercia Police: £53.48
West Midlands Police: £55.91
Fully kitted patrol vehicle
Staffordshire Police: not bought
Warwickshire Police: £15805.50
West Mercia Police: £15805.50
West Midlands Police: £13290.00