MERSEYSIDE Police will face “dire consequences” if it does not receive financial help from central government, the crime commissioner has said.

As previously reported, Merseyside Police has been told by the Treasury it may have to pay out an extra £11m per year due to a nine per cent increase in employer pension contributions.

The figure could fall to £5m in 2019-20 if the force receives help from the Home Office – although no assurance has been given from Westminster.

Jane Kennedy, Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said she has felt “sick” over the situation.

She also claimed that a number of police forces will be forced to go bankrupt if the government do not step up.

Ms Kennedy said: “To say that it is horrific, is fair.

“To say that I am feeling sick at the thought of not getting assistance with this pension, which is after all, a government actuarial calculation.

“It’s not a real thing, it is something however that will have real consequences for the police services unless we get help.

“I just firmly, as firmly as is possible to be, say to the government – they have to step up and assist.

“Merseyside isn’t the only police force that will face dire consequences.

“Some police forces will go bankrupt if that goes through without assistance.”

Ms Kennedy said bankruptcy will not be an option for Merseyside Police, and said she will work with Chief Constable Andy Cooke to ensure the force stays functioning.

However, she warned that front-line policing will be in danger if the force does not receive financial assistance.

“Three years ago, we faced the prospect of losing all our PCSOs,” she said.

“I do not ever want to go back to that position but if they don’t come in to assist with the pension, everything will have to be looked at again.”

Ms Kennedy said the force has not been given any indication it will be receiving an increase in grant funding the Autumn budget, which is set to be announced by Chancellor Phillip Hammond at the end of this month.

She said if the grant remains static from what it was previously, then it will be a “real terms cut”.

She said residents were bearing a “heavy burden” after revealing plans to increase the police council tax precept to offset the pension liabilities.

“It’s crazy,” Ms Kennedy said. “It’s unforgivable, particularly when the government party is one that used to call itself the party of law and order.

“Every possible step that could be taken to maximise efficiency and improve the way the money can be managed, and that staff are managed, every possible step has been taken.

“We are now at the point where without new resources, new funds coming in from central government, local forces like Merseyside will be pushed to the edge.”

The crime commissioner also shot down Prime Minister Theresa May’s claims earlier this month at the Tory party conference that an end to austerity was in sight.

Ms Kennedy said: “Given all the cost pressures we face as a country and given all of the local problems we face as a police force then austerity hasn’t gone.

“It’s just a lot of froth – words being said at a party conference that don’t mean anything for ordinary people.”