THE region’s police and crime commissioner has welcomed the Conservative’s pledge for 20,000 more police officers and tougher sentences for criminals.

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said police officers across West Mercia spent too much time dealing with the same people and welcomed Mr Johnson’s pledge to start handing out tougher sentences.

Mr Campion said: “I absolutely believe that we have to do what we can to support those who have lost their way and fallen into criminality by helping them get back on track. But in recent times the system has felt too stretched, and not served as the strong deterrent that it also needs to be.

“Law abiding citizens need to be able to go about their daily lives without the fear of crime or violence.

Mr Campion welcomed Boris Johnson’s pledge for more police officers and tougher sentences on reoffenders especially when “second and third chances were not taken up.”

He said: “It also gives a commitment that punishments for criminals who repeatedly refuse to behave in a way that civilised society expects need to be strengthened, particularly when second and third chances are not taken up.

He said: “Policing is growing and evolving in its capability, but hard-working officers across West Mercia spend too much time dealing with the same people who are often a dangerous blight on society. It is so important that law abiding people feel that criminal justice is fair and but prioritises keeping people safe from harm.”

Lynn Denham, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Worcester, said: “Police figures can be misleading. Rather than comparing with 2016, it would be more accurate to look at police numbers since the Conservatives came into power in 2010.

“According to data I have seen, West Mercia has lost over 400 officers in that time. This is why, although crime is rising, the majority of criminals are getting away with not being charged or prosecuted. Government funding to police forces has been cut by £3.6 billion since 2010.

“The Labour Party will invest in effective police work where the police serve their communities and work collaboratively with youth workers, mental health services, schools, drug rehabilitation programmes and other public agencies.

“These services all have a vital role in keeping our communities safe.”