EACH of Cheshire's 122 policing communities will soon have their own named officer, dedicated to tackling issues in the area.

The pledge comes as police and crime commissioner David Keane sets out his budget for 2020/21.

It means police numbers in Cheshire are set to rise to a 10-year high, with 43 additional frontline police officers from last year's budget and an additional 90 officers funded by the government’s uplift programme – set to be in post by March 2021.

The new neighbourhood officers will work alongside the PCSOs already sited in each policing community, in a bid to strengthen links with residents and tackle emerging issues before they become more serious.

Mr Keane said: “When I was elected I made a commitment to putting more officers back where they belong – in the heart of our communities.

"The community base model, which I introduced in 2018, has seen each of the 122 police communities in Cheshire have its own accessible police base and PCSO and now they’ll each have a dedicated police constable.

“This has not been an easy promise to deliver with challenging financial circumstances and an increase in serious crime taking officers away from our neighbourhoods but I have fought for these neighbourhood officers as I know how important a visible policing presence is to the residents I represent.”

The policing precept – the element of council tax that pays for policing – will rise by an average of £10 per year, which is less than 20p per week, to help fund this year’s budget.

Funding from the budget will also be used to invest in Cheshire Constabulary’s force control centre to provide an improved 999/111 service for 999 or 101 callers.

There will also be investment in ‘proactive’ operations, to tackle county lines drug activity and other serious and organised crime.

Funds have also been set aside to further develop Cheshire’s integrated stalking unit and to provide increased funding to Cheshire’s Women’s Centres that support survivors of domestic abuse.

There’s also set to be increased investment in health and wellbeing support for police officers and staff.

Cheshire’s police and crime panel lent their support to the proposed budget and precept increase at a meeting on Friday, February 7.