Hurrah. Some good news at last in these bleakest of times. Cheshire Police has recruited some more police officers.

And one man seems to be more delighted than most, namely Warrington South’s Conservative MP Andy Carter.

He took to Twitter to proudly boast: “I’m really pleased to see confirmation of an extra 84 police officers recruited by Cheshire Police since the launch of our [the Conservative Government’s] major police recruitment drive one year ago. Across England and Wales nearly 6,000 extra officers have joined up.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to see the force being strengthened, but let’s put those figures into some kind of context, shall we?

Speaking specifically about the increase in knife crime in March last year, David Keane Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner (and Warrington Borough Councillor for Penketh and Cuerdley) said: “Cheshire police has lost 135 officers since 2010 and in addition to this, other public services across Cheshire, including local authorities, have been subject to harsh spending cuts from central Government.

“We have got to ask ourselves the question: Is there a direct link between the effects of austerity and the increase in violent crimes on our streets.

“I believe that austerity is killing young people throughout our communities. Unless it is stopped, we will continue to see lives unnecessarily cut short.”

The key fact here is that by March last year, 135 officers had been given their P45s by Cheshire Police during the 10 years of Coalition and Conservative governments. So yes, Mr Carter the new 84 recruits are welcome but by my calculation, that still leaves Cheshire short of 51 bobbies. And even if they were to be recruited, that still doesn’t take into account population growth in the county.

I agree that recruiting nearly 6,000 new officers across England and Wales is a good thing we should all be happy about.

But I would respectfully refer you to the website of November last year where it says: “The number of police officers in England and Wales fell by 20,600 between March 2010 and March 2019, down to 123,200 officers (126,300 including those from the British Transport Police and on secondment). The number of police officers in England and Wales is at close to the lowest recorded level since the early 1980s.”

Sadly, there appears to be some way to go for police recruitment to get the numbers up to anything like the level of 10 years ago.

Of course, during all those years of Tory austerity, as Mr Keane points out, there were public spending cuts and while the cuts to the number of police officers will make the headlines, what is less obvious are the cuts to the number of support staff.

As I said, I welcome the fact Cheshire Police has been able to boost its numbers, but for goodness sake it’s not really something to be boasting about just yet, is it?

On a different topic, I really don’t want to say I told you so, but…I told you so. Coronavirus lockdown was always the reality, not the muddled, half-hearted tier system foisted on us by the government.

Let’s rewind and go back to just before half-term when Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called for a short lockdown or ‘circuit-breaker’ in England to bring the rising rate of coronavirus under control.

He made the comments after documents from SAGE revealed the government scientific advisers had called for such action three weeks earlier.

Had he been listened to, the circuit-breaker could have taken in school holidays thereby making it even more effective.

But Starmer and the scientists were ignored and just look at the mess it’s left us in now.

Makes you wonder if Boris Johnson and his chums actually know what they are doing. I’ll leave it to you to make your own minds up.