BURNHAM-on-Sea MP James Heappey said he is ‘delighted’ Avon and Somerset Police will be recruiting 137 new police officers next year.

The constabulary is increasing its frontline policing as part of the Home Office drive to recruit 20,000 officers nationally by 2022.

The Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced that every police force in England and Wales has been set recruitment targets as part of the first stage in the uplift which will see the government supporting forces to recruit up to 6,000 additional officers by the end of 2020-21.

The increase comes after Avon and Somerset employed 100 extra officers over the last year as part of Operation Remedy, which focuses on tackling burglary, drugs and knife crime.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Local people have been very clear - they want to see more police officers on their streets tackling the issues that matter most to the community.

“We are in a great position in that we have been busy this year recruiting officers for Op Remedy and we recently launched the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship with UWE.

“The chief and I are looking forward to getting the 137 new officers on board, enrolled onto the apprenticeship and out on the ground keeping local people safe.”

Mr Heappey welcomed the announcement and said it is ‘great news’ for his constituency.

The Burnham MP said it is part of a wider plan from the Government to invest in public services and unite the country.

He said: “I am delighted Avon and Somerset Constabulary has been allocated these crucial extra officers. It is clear this is the right thing to do in order to keep our streets safe and give the force the support they need.

“It is important we invest in policing, schools, infrastructure and such like and I am pleased to see a real commitment by the Government to ensure this happens. I know my constituency will benefit immensely from these extra officers.

“Our police do amazing work and it is important they are given the resources to continue that.”