UP TO 360 extra police officers could be hired in the region because of additional government funding, the Police and Crime Commissioner has said.

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said the ‘very rough estimate’ based on a pledge by Chancellor and Worcestershire MP Sajid Javid of £750 million for an extra 20,000 police officers across the country.

Mr Campion said the estimate of between 300 and 360 extra officers was based on current spending, but if the government gives priorities to other forces, he might have to fight for a “fairer share” of the money.

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “In the last year I have already delivered an additional 215 police officers for West Mercia because I recognise it is what our communities want and what our police force needs.

PCC John Campion: Extra West Mercia officers should be in place by end of the year

“The government clearly understands this too and the recent announcements from the Chancellor confirm this commitment.

“We await further details from government in due course, however if West Mercia receives a proportionate amount of the additional 20,000 officers, this would equate roughly to an extra 300 to 360 officers on the streets in our communities.

“Whatever the eventual uplift looks like, I have already ensured record levels of recruitment and training in West Mercia in the last year and am reassured the force is ready and able to increase officer numbers again very quickly.”

West Mercia Police announced it was recruiting an extra 100 officers last autumn and in February confirmed it would be hiring another 115 on top of that.

All the new recruits should have started work by the end of the year.

Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans said: “The allocation of 20,000 additional officers across the country is fantastic news for our local communities.

"This uplift will help us meet the demands and complexities of modern policing.

"We are already making provisional plans for the uplift in officer numbers.

"We are working through where we need additional officers which will include an increase in uniform response officers as well as some more specialist detectives.

“Currently, West Mercia Police is undergoing its biggest recruitment drive that is due to continue into next year.

“We will be striving to attract the best and most talented candidates to a career in policing.

“As we continue to receive this uplift I am confident our communities will start to see an increase of visibility of officers within the next few weeks and months as a result of the additional officers already provided by the PCC this year.”