WEST Midlands Police is set to employ an initial extra 366 officers under government funding plans.
But police chiefs say it won’t fill the gap left by years of government funding cuts.
The Conservative government has announced the first tranche of police recruitment targets as part of a three-year programme to recruit 20,000 new police officers across the country.
The Tories say West Midlands Police will be able to take on the officers immediately alongside 93 for West Mercia, 90 for Staffordshire and 41 for Warwickshire.
Jay Singh-Sohal, the Conservative candidate to be the next West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Confirmation that the West Midlands is to receive 366 new police officers in year one of extra investment is a very welcome boost for a force that is stretched.”
But David Jamieson, the current Labour West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, believes more officers should have been allocated to the force.
He said the force was expecting 1,220 out of the total 20,000 officers based on the first year’s figures.
He said: “I welcome any extra resources for West Midlands Police.
“The people of the West Midlands and myself have been calling for many years now for more resources, I’m pleased the government has responded.
“Since 2010 we have lost over 2,000 officers, following cuts of over £175 million. These officers are welcome, but do not cover the fall in officers we have experienced over the last nine years.
“I am concerned that resources have once again been divided using a blunt and outdated formula that disadvantages areas like the West Midlands and helps leafy, lower crime areas, that have lost fewer officers than forces like ours.
“It would have been more sensible to allocate officers based on the crime threat and need of forces.
“Nevertheless we will put these officers to good use helping to keep the West Midlands safe.”