AN extra 200 officers are to be recruited by Merseyside Police after a Government funding boost.

It is part of the Home Office's promise to increase officer numbers by 20,000 nationally over the next three years. It has also pledged funding for associated recruitment costs, including training and kit.

Merseyside Police has recently recruited 200 new officers and Chief Constable Andy Cooke welcomed news that he can bring in more.

He said: "The 200 increase in police officer numbers is welcomed and Merseyside Police will recruit the additional staff over the next five months.

"I look forward to future announcements which will hopefully go some way to replacing the 1,000 Officers lost since 2011."

Home Secretary Priti Patel MP said: "The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside.

"This is the people's priority and it is exactly what the Government is delivering.

"Every single police force in England and Wales will be able to recruit additional officers this year to help keep all of our communities safer."

Heswall councillor Les Rowlands, set to be appointed to Merseyside's Police & Crime Panel on Monday, said: "This is good news for the law-abiding majority across Wirral and the rest of Merseyside and is the first stage of our plan to recruit a total of 20,000 more police across the country.

"In recent years, both the Chief Constable and the police and crime commissioner have done everything possible to maintain frontline policing, but we are now at the stage where we can afford to recruit more.

"While criminals and crime are becoming more sophisticated, and international, we must also ensure that policing is also visible in every single community.

"I look forward to working with the Chief Constable and commissioner to achieving this and give as much support as needed to every single police officer in Merseyside."

Laura Evans, Conservative parliamentary candidate for West Wirral, said: "It's positive news that Merseyside Police will be able to recruit 200 new police officers next year to help keep our streets safe.

"This is just the start of action being taken to crack down on crime and make our streets safer.

"Through empowering the police to help keep our communities safe we are sending a clear message to criminals to think twice before committing offences.

"It is vital that we see the benefits here in Wirral West on our streets and in our community."