Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has accused the ‘desperate’ Government of preparing for elections after the Prime Minister pledged to recruit an extra 20,000 police officers.

Tory Warrington South parliamentary candidate Andy Carter and the party’s PCC candidate for the county John Dwyer have welcomed Boris Johnson’s announcement.

And they are jointly calling for more officers to be deployed in Warrington.

Mr Carter believes there needs to be a drive to secure more officers onto the streets, while highlighting the importance of working with communities.

He said: “Too frequently, I hear that there are concerns about anti-social behaviour which gives rise to so many other problems within neighbourhoods.

“This weekend I’ve been out on the doorstep, talking to people here in Warrington and like me, people are pleased this is being prioritised by Boris.”

Mr Dwyer, who lost the role of Cheshire PCC to Labour’s David Keane in 2016, is confident the pledge from Downing Street to start recruiting more bobbies will make an ‘immediate impact on many of the major issues’ officers are facing by increasing the frontline presence.

“Having more police officers on the beat will go a long way to cracking the rise of such things as knife crime, which is blighting our towns and cities across the country,” he said.

“An increased police presence will reassure the public that this Government takes their safety seriously and also sends a message to criminals and would-be criminals that any sort of crime or anti-social will not be tolerated.”

But Mr Keane, who will be battling to retain his position in next May’s election, hit back and claims there is ‘no real plan’ to deliver the extra officers.

“I cautiously welcome the ‘pledge’ to recruit an ‘extra’ 20,000 police officers – but let’s be absolutely clear that these aren’t extra officers,” he added.

“This Tory Government has slashed police officers by over 21,000 since 2010.

“So, let’s be honest, even with a ‘pledge’ to replace 20,000 we’ll still be over 1,000 police officers down on 2010 numbers.

“Police officers do not grow on trees, the right people have to be recruited, highly trained and aren’t instantly available as has been suggested.

“Following the vast and damaging cuts to public services over the last decade, it appears that the Tory Government now wishes to distance itself from this damage.

“These announcements are nothing more than smoke and mirrors from a desperate Government preparing for elections.”