CHESHIRE'S police and crime commissioner (PCC) David Keane has accused the Government of ‘shifting the burden’ of funding onto taxpayers.

The Conservatives have announced an increase of up to £1.1 billion for police forces throughout England and Wales, with Cheshire set to receive an extra £14.8 million to tackle crime and keep streets safe – an increase of 7.7 per cent from last year.

They also emphasised that it comes on top of their plan to recruit an extra 20,000 police officers, along with ensuring they have more powers and better kit.

Cheshire is set to receive an additional 90 officers this year.

John Dwyer, Conservative PCC candidate for Cheshire, urged Labour MPs to vote in favour of the ‘much-needed’ funding settlement when it comes before Parliament.

He said: “I am delighted that police funding in Cheshire could increase by up to £14.8 million next year.

“We made a commitment to people at the election that we would crack down on crime and back our brave police to get on with the job, and we are wasting no time in delivering on that promise now.

“The Conservative Party will always ensure that the police have the powers and resources needed to keep our citizens and communities safe.”

But Labour PCC Mr Keane has expressed fears over the situation.

He said: “32 per cent of this ‘additional’ £14.8 million funding assumes a £10 increase in the precept, which again sees the Government shifting the burden of police funding onto the local taxpayer – something I am not comfortable with and have been lobbying the Government against.

“If the precept is not increased, this would leave a £4.8 million shortfall in local police funding in Cheshire, making it extremely difficult to maintain our current frontline resources.

“The Government has made it clear that if the current officer level is not maintained, we will not receive funding for the extra officers promised as part of the uplift programme.

“Also let’s be clear, these aren’t ‘extra’ officers, we’re still down on our officer establishment from 2010, despite my attempts to recruit extra officers over the last year, with no increase in Government funding, and put more officers back into the heart of our communities.”

Home secretary Priti Patel said the Government is delivering on the ‘people’s priorities’ by giving policing the ‘biggest funding increase in a decade’.

The PCC elections will take place in May.