A long-awaited review of pay and conditions in the force is expected to recommend higher salaries for the most successful officers, in an attempt to improve standards.
Instead of a pay scale based solely on length of service and promotion through the ranks, it is said to propose "cash incentives for high-performing police officers who can successfully fight crime".
But the proposal, to be made in the second part of the Government-commissioned Winsor Report, has already prompted fears that it will mean police getting bonuses for making more arrests.
Sources insist there will be no such "cash for collars" scheme, but some officers believe any form of performance-related pay would undermine the principles of policing.
Chris Burrows, chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: "We should be dealing with the public in a completely independent manner, without fear or favour.
"Performance-related pay would completely change the way we police.
"We should be arresting someone because it is the right thing to do - not because our next pay cheque depends on it."
The report by the former rail regulator Tom Winsor is expected to be published late next week, just days after he appears before MPs on the powerful Home Affairs Select Committee.
The first instalment last year angered police by proposing the abolition of £60million a year in overtime payments as well as bonuses for officers who take on more responsibilities.
Next week's study is likely to call into question the way in which frontline officers can retire on full pension before they turn 50, having completed 30 years' service. Many then return to their old forces and receive a new salary for back-office roles while drawing down their pension at the same time.
Mr Winsor will also address the pay structure across England and Wales, which could mean officers in rural constabularies receiving lower pay than their inner-city counterparts.
His report - which does not have to be implemented by ministers - may also recommend direct entry into higher ranks of the police force in order to attract talent from other sectors.
At the moment, the only way to become a chief constable is to rise through the ranks from PC upwards. Some believe this stifles innovation and creates an insular culture in the police, but the tradition is defended by officers.
The report is likely to deepen suspicions among police officers about the Government's reform plans. The Home Office is already forcing through a 20 per cent cut in the police's budget, leading to job cuts and fears of rising crime, and is allowing some areas to outsource many back-office functions to companies, raising concerns of more redundancies and creeping privatisation.
Paul McKeever, Chairman of Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "It would be inappropriate to speculate about the contents of a report which has not been released yet. When Winsor's Part 2 report is published, we will digest the contents and react accordingly.
"However, the message from our members is clear, police officers have already made a significant contribution to the national debt and have already seen their pay, terms and conditions altered beyond recognition and enough is enough."