Oswestry Police Station will benefit from the 215 new officers recruited across West Mercia this year and next, the force’s top cop has said.

Chief Constable Antony Bangham said “one or two” officers will be joining each of the station's five daily shifts.

One hundred officers were in the budget for 2018-19 and a further 115 are expected the following year.

“This is over and above the officers who are retiring as part of the normal officers, it is a real increase,” Chf Con Bangham said.

He told the West Mercia Police and Crime Panel new recruits will also join the Bridgnorth, Bromsgrove, Droitwich, Evesham, Ledbury, Ludlow, Market Drayton, Ross and Shrewsbury stations.

But Telford will not get any more officers.

Ch Con Bangham explained that by introducing the officers to Shropshire police stations it will free up officers in Telford who are currently used to cover.

“That is actually far more significant than you might think,” he said.

“If you are used to, as they are in our more rural areas, having two officers on a team, just one extra or two extra does give you some resilience and capacity.

“And in some areas there are currently nought.

"We’ve had to make difficult decisions. We’ve had no shifts there at all and they’ve had to come from neighbouring stations, so we are putting them back.

“Some of you may be looking at those towns and thinking, ‘Hold on, that doesn’t cover my area!’

“I just want to reassure you for some of those areas – Telford, for example – we know that the strain on the response teams there actually isn’t so much the volume of work in Telford itself, it is the fact that they spend considerable amounts of their time going to Bridgnorth, or covering Market Drayton, or even going across into Shrewsbury.

“So if you can protect the resources we currently have in Telford by having more officers in those areas, de facto, you end up having more officers to police the areas they should be in.”

The panel – which consists of councillors from throughout the force area – voted to approve the 2019-20 budget.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said the new officers would be in position as soon as possible.

“I don’t want to give you the impression that this is a long three-year plan,” he said.

“We will move fast to ensure the community get the benefit.”