Riot police are rude to protesters because they are often busting to go to the toilet, a police probe has found.

Officers are meant to be “relieved” every 45 minutes so they can go to the loo, but often they are being told they must hold on because there are not enough colleagues to replace them.

Police Review magazine yesterday revealed the problem of officers being caught short after an inquiry into claims by the public of “police incivility”.

A poll of police riot officers found morale was badly affected by lack of loo and meal breaks.

“You are not going to be concentrating on the task when you are concentrating on not wetting ­yourself,” the West Midlands force’s health and safety chief Bryan Higgins told the magazine. “It does cause problems.

Police in Cambridgeshire last year tried to introduce Sheewee, a portable urinating device for women, to help its female officers spend a penny.

The simple device allows women to urinate while standing up and without removing any clothing, and Cambridgeshire police were the first force in the country to trial it.

Budget restrictions put the mockers on plans to introduce the £7.50 devices, though police chiefs say they are still “under consideration”.