Gloucestershire PCC has said the Liberal Democrats will have "egg on their face" following complaints from the party that the Conservative's had failed to recruit enough police.

The government made a commitment to recruit an additional 20,000 police officers in England and Wales by March 31, 2023, including 153 in Gloucestershire.

However, Lib Dem councillor for Bourton, Paul Hodgkinson, believes the Conservative's have failed to live up to this promise.

“People in Gloucestershire are being let down and taken for granted by this Conservative Government,” he said.

“With so many local crimes going unsolved, we desperately need more police on our streets and in our communities.

“The Conservatives’ pledge to boost police officer numbers looks set to become yet another of their broken promises. They are letting down victims of crime and our communities right across our area.

“Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and known personally to local people.”

According to Government statistics released this week, the total number of officers in the area has dropped by 23 since the Conservative PCC, Chris Nelson, was elected in May 2021.

Despite this, PCC Nelson remains confident that Gloucestershire Police will smash their target.

He said: “The Liberal Democrats will certainly have egg on their faces by the end of this financial year when Gloucestershire Police will have 46 more established officers than last year. The whole Constabulary will continue to grow in establishment for every year of my term. "

"Thanks to the significant investment that the Government and I are making into policing in Gloucestershire, our training centre is literally bursting at the seams with new officers, PCSOs and staff who will very shortly be on the streets of our County, preventing crime and keeping communities safe.

He added that a wave of retirements has affected the force's numbers.

“Since I was elected, a larger than usual number of officers have taken their retirement. This has been compensated for by recruiting more officers.

“Of course there is always some fluctuation in force strength due to those reaching retirement, particularly as many held back from making career changes as they valiantly fought COVID, but we are well on course to achieve the Government’s contribution of 154 additional police officers by the target date, and it would be wrong and disingenuous to say otherwise."