Tom Winsor, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, has come under fire for attending a police memorial service in uniform.

A couple of petitions have appeared online - one of which has attracted more than 7,000 signatures - calling for a ban on Mr Winsor wearing any uniform to public events because, despite having responsibility for inspecting police forces in England and Wales, he has never served as an officer.

The former lawyer and rail regulator - the first Inspector of Constabulary without a policing background - wore a ceremonial uniform designed specifically for the Inspectorate to the National Police Memorial Day Service in Cardiff on Sunday.

One petition, which has collected nearly 200 signatures, calls for Mr Winsor to be "publicly censured by Parliament" for his "grossly offensive behaviour" and causing "distress and outrage".

Defending his decision to wear the uniform, Mr Winsor, the mastermind behind the most radical review of police pay and conditions for more than 30 years, told the Police Oracle: "I would rather be criticised for showing respect, rather than failing to show it."

The 10th annual National Police Memorial Day Service - formed to remember officers who were killed or died on duty - was held at St David's Hall in the Welsh capital and was attended by the Prince of Wales and Home Secretary Theresa May.

Uniforms for Inspectors of Constabulary are not police uniforms, although they look similar, according to the Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary website.

The insignia and cap badge contain the letters HMIC and the Chief Inspector's insignia also includes a star, it adds.

Before he took up the role, Mr Winsor conducted a far-reaching review of police pay and conditions and put forward a number of proposals, many of which were adopted by the Government.

Among his recommendations accepted by the Home Secretary were plans to cut pay for new constables and the introduction of a fast-track scheme for senior ranking positions.

Once dubbed the ''Dr Beeching of policing'', Mr Winsor's proposal to introduce compulsory severance to police forces across England and Wales, which would see the end of ''a job for life'' for officers, was met with fierce criticism and is still under negotiation.

Steve Williams, the chairman of the Police Federation, which represents rank- and-file officers, said: "We will not be drawn into a debate about what someone was wearing on such an important day of remembrance.

"This day is for the families, friends, colleagues and the wider public to pay their respects to those who tragically lost their lives protecting their community. We must pay attention to what is really important."