The Government's attitude over an upcoming pay dispute is making police officers frustrated and angry, the chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation has said.
And it is only the special position of the police force that stops members wanting to go on strike, he added.
Paul Tonks said the Federation is looking for a rise of 3.94 per cent, but the Home Office is offering a deal at 2.3 per cent.
After recent pay conciliation talks failed, an official arbitration is now planned for November 2.
This is the first time that pay negotiations between the police and the Government have had to be settled externally.
Mr Tonks said: "I think the Government has thus far ignored every piece of evidence that has been put forward by us.
"And the superintendents and ACPO support them because they obviously want to cut wage bills, he added. "I think what's happened is the Government wants to cut its purse strings and I can understand that. If the Government wants to look for a new formula for settling police pay then that's fine, but they should at least go about it in a more dignified way."
The dispute has been going on for months, although police were due to receive the raise on September 1.
And Mr Tonks said he was not certain the arbitration talks would end the matter.
"Its going to arbitration, but the decision of the arbitration panel is binding on all parties except the home secretary, who can at her own discretion put a red line through it," he said.
"It's just one of those ludicrous situations, that the Home Secretary is the final arbiter.
"We will just have to wait and see what the outcome is.
"For 30 years now we have had a pay deal that has compensated us for the unique role we have. We're unique in that we are servants of the crown, we do not have industrial rights, we work to regulations, so we are restricted in what we can do about things.
"It's a special role, as is the Armed Forces and the judiciary, and we should bear that in mind.
"You only have to look at the prison officers to see how these things can end up.
"But if you ask me would police officers want to strike the answer is no. It's frustrating.
Last year 8,000 police officers in the West Midlands had to wait until just before Christmas for a pay deal to be finalised.
They had agreed a three per cent rise for under the inflation-linked pay formula.
But for the first time since being introduced 27 years ago, pay negotiators failed to honour the agreement.
A tribunal backed the staff and the Home Secretary at the time, John Reid, said he would honour the ruling. Mr Tonks said: "Last year was problematic, as the Government attempted to rubbish the pay agreement, but at the end of the day they decided they would honour the award.
"What I'm worried about is that after the arbitration meeting they have 21 days to report.
"The pay rise should have come into effect on September 1, so you're looking at officers going months without receiving it, even into Christmas.
"What we need to do is to put reasoned argument forward and make sure that common sense prevails."
A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: "We have a duty to ensure pay duties are fair and enforceable both for the police and the taxpayers, but as this is up for arbitration at the moment, we can't comment on it."