The Home Secretary received her customary frosty welcome at her annual address to the Police Federation today, but if looks could kill, its chairman Steve White would not be long for this world.
The PFEW chair's jokes at her expense met with applause from the audience, and a murderous look from Ms May, who went on to promise further deep cuts to the police.
The Home Secretary is to launch a major independent review into police crime and performance targets.
She wants to "bring transparency to where, how and why targets are being used, and analyse the impact of targets on police officers’ ability to fight crime".
She said: "Information is critical to management and scrutiny. But there is a world of difference between the proper use of data to manage performance and the improper use of arbitrary targets.
"A police force [was] allegedly so intent on meeting Home Office targets about car theft and burglary that it ignored hundreds of young girls being abused in Rotherham and Sheffield."
The Home Secretary has warned of further cuts to police funding in the UK, telling the Police Federation that "delivering more with less can be challenging and difficult".
However, she rubbished reports "that we'll be 'forced to adopt a paramilitary style' of policing in Britain".
She told rank-and-file officers: "I have to tell you that this kind of scaremongering does nobody any good - it doesn't serve you, it doesn't serve the officers you represent, and it doesn't serve the public."
The Home Secretary has told the annual Police Federation conference that they need to stop scaremongering over their complaints about spending cuts.
In a speech, Theresa May said: "For your sake and the thousands of police officers that work so hard each day, this crying wolf has to stop."
She also said that more savings would have to be made in police budgets, saying reform "needs to go much deeper".
Pointing to the Independent Crime Survey, she added that crime had fallen by as much as 25% in England and Wales, despite the cuts already made.
Her comments met with frosty reception on Twitter, with many officers criticising her words.
The embattled body that represents rank-and-file police officers elected a new leader today - on a coin toss.
Steve White became chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales days after the organisation was left stunned by raft of shock changes announced by Home Secretary Theresa May.
Avon and Somerset officer Mr White, who was previously vice-chairman, had luck on his side after the Federation's 30-strong joint central committee vote was tied between him and Metropolitan Police constable Will Riches.
A Police Federation spokeswoman said: "The vote for chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales was equally split. In accordance with the election rules, the chairman was elected on the toss of a coin."
Steve White has been elected as the new chairman of the Police Federation, the organisation told ITV News.
He replaces Steve Williams, who with its general secretary Ian Rennie announced in April they would retire in late May after "a turbulent period" for the organisation.
Theresa May dropped a number of bombshell announcements when she addressed the Federation's conference in Bournemouth on Wednesday, including the removal of state funding this August.
The Home Secretary Theresa May read the riot act to the Police Federation today following a series of scandals.
She told them, if they didn't bring in reforms themselves, the government would do it for them by law.
Federation Leaders have called her speech a vitriolic attack, but members voted to adopt some changes.
ITV News' Lewis Vaughan Jones reports.
The Shadow Home Secretary has said the Police Federation needs to "seize the moment" and bring in changes.
Yvette Cooper questioned whether a speech made by the Home Secretary would make it more or less likely that reforms would go ahead in the Police Federation - or be far-reaching enough.
Theresa May told the federation's annual conference that if changes were not made of the organisation's own accord, the government "will impose change on you."
The Shadow Home Secretary also said that it was important to recognise the majority of police officers were working hard "to do a demanding job in difficult circumstances."
Representatives of the Police Federation are calling for an apology from the Home Secretary Theresa May after she gave a speech at the annual conference telling them to "face up to reality", and announcing the withdrawal of public funding.
Ian Hanson, chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: "Theresa May demeaned the office of Home Secretary this morning in a vitriolic attack not only on the Police Federation but on every police officer in the country."
"Much has been said about professionalism and standards of behaviour in recent times - today Mrs May went too far and should apologise", he added.