WILTSHIRE Police will recruit an extra 49 officers this year, ministers have confirmed.

Across the south west, forces are getting an additional 423 police officers in 2019/20 as part of government plans to recruit 20,000 cops nationally over the next three years.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire, said: “Wiltshire is one of the safest of all counties, but that should not blind us to the rise in rural crime, and especially in knife crime.

“Wiltshire Police does a fantastic job for our community. I hope this new funding will allow them to continue to meet the real pressures they face and be more able to help prevent crime and better support victims of crime. It is an announcement which I wholeheartedly support.”

Here's how many officers each south west force is getting in 2019/20

Avon and Somerset Constabulary - 137 new officers

Devon & Cornwall Police - 141 new officers

Dorset Police - 50 new officers

Gloucestershire Constabulary - 46 new officers

Wiltshire Police - 49 new officers

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The public are clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside.”

Rank-and-file organisation the Police Federation has welcomed the extra officers, but called for the system by which forces are allocated government cash to be overhauled to ensure a fairer distribution of officers.