MERSEYSIDE Police are to receive a £23m increase in their annual budget, it has been announced.

The move will see an extra 200 officers recruited next year.

Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy welcomed the grant settlement from the Government.

She said it "fulfils the Prime Minister’s commitment to increase the numbers of police officers in England and Wales and signifies an end to austerity for the police service."

She went on: "I must give credit where it is due, I am pleased Government have at last listened to police leaders, the police unions and staff associations and to police commissioners and have accepted our police service has been cut too far.

“Although there remain cost pressures that must be managed, this grant settlement means that Merseyside Police’s Chief Constable can recruit 200 more police officers next year, with the expectation that more grant funding will be provided over the next three years to recruit a further 460 police officers by 2023.

"This builds on the growth in police officer numbers that began last year.

“Merseyside Police will receive £23m pounds more in direct grant than they were allocated last year, which will go to cover the costs of new officers and staff, for example uniforms, vehicles, office space, salaries and pension payments.

“I will ask the public of Merseyside to join me in welcoming the new police officers to our streets and also seek the public’s support for an increase in the police precept, that part of the council tax which is dedicated solely to the police budget."

Ms Kennedy said for Merseysiders that will mean an increase of £10 per year for residents in Band D properties, or 19p per week.

A majority of residents live in Band A properties and for them it will mean an increase of £6.67 per year, or 13p per week.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "This Government is delivering on the people’s priorities by giving policing the biggest funding increase in a decade.

"It will mean more officers tackling the crime blighting our streets, so people can feel safe in their communities.
"The police must now make full use of this significant investment to deliver for the public."

PCCs will have access to 8,702m in grants, which is £667m more than the previous year.