SEVENTY-FIVE off-duty officers from North Yorkshire Police will be joining 15,000 of their colleagues from across England and Wales for a march in London in protest over pay.

They include officers from York, Selby and Ryedale.

The rally, organised by the Police Federation, will see officers march through the heart of Westminster and give officers and their families to demonstrate their frustration at what they describe as "the Government's recent betrayal" over pay. The Police Federation says the decision by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to pay officers the 2.5 per cent pay backdated to December 1, instead of September, effectively reduces the pay rise to just 1.9 per cent.

They say the rally is the only way police officers can legally express their anger, as they are prohibited from joining a trade union or taking any form of industrial action.

A number of MPs and Ministers, including the Home Affairs Select Committee, have shown their support for police officers by agreeing the full pay increase should be implemented. A number of the North Yorkshire officers hope to meet their constituency MPs during the day.

Mark Botham, chairman of the North Yorkshire Police Federation, said: "I can never recall a time when officers were so angry.

"We have been betrayed by a morally redundant Government. The fact that police officers in Scotland have been given the rise in full when their colleagues in England, Wales and Northern Ireland haven't is a disgrace - perhaps there is a link with the fact that many of the Labour power brokers including the Prime Minister are Scottish MPs. And then to add to the ignominy, police staff were awarded 2.5 per cent with no strings.

"All police authorities have budgeted for this, there has been no definitive evidence put forward to support ludicrous claims that this would fuel inflation - currently at 4.3 per cent.

"This award was given as a result of independent arbitration, not a secret bung binding on all sides except the Home Secretary.

"And now we are told - you can have the rise in full if you become the guinea pig for three-year pay deals. Well no - the trust has gone. That is why so many of our officers have taken time off to protest in London - mindful that they are representing their colleagues who remain behind on duty to ensure the people of North Yorkshire continue to receive a dedicated efficient public service."

Teachers have been offered a 2.45 per cent pay increase from September this year.

Mr Botham said: "This will only add to the feelings of outrage anger and de-motivation being felt by police officers in North Yorkshire as a result of the betrayal by this Government."