THIRTY new officers have bolstered the ranks of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) as part of a major recruitment drive.

The new recruits are among some 4,336 extra officers who have joined police forces across the country since September last year.

The MP for Bury South, Christian Wakeford, has welcomed the announcement, saying it demonstrates the Conservatives' commitment to backing the police and keeping communities safe.

However, Labour's communities boss at Bury Council dismissed the recruitment as mere 'window dressing' without 'serious investment' in policing.

Bury's Liberal Democrats leader also took issue and highlighted the relative meagreness of officer recruitment in Greater Manchester

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford said: “Getting more police officers onto our streets is one of the people’s priorities, and so I am delighted that Greater Manchester has been bolstered with an extra 30 officers so far.

“Every one of these officers will make an enormous difference in helping to cut crime and keep people safe – and I am reassured that many more will follow as this Government continues to deliver on its promise to recruit 20,000 more over the next three years."

Although the announcement of new officers for the region was also welcomed by politicians across the party divide, both Labour and the Lib Dems said the recruitment did not go far enough.

Executive cabinet member for communities and emergency planning, and Labour councillor for Unsworth, Cllr David Jones said: "As a former serving Police Officer in GMP I welcome the arrival of additional officers to help stem the rising crime levels.

"The public will not be duped into a false dawn however, here in GMP they have lost over two thousand warranted officers and thirty replacements over ten police divisions do not add up to much.

"Three officers per division each working four shifts doesn’t add up. One shift goes without.

"We need need serious investment in policing nationally, all this is window dressing unfortunately."

Bury Liberal Democrats leader and St Mary's ward councillor, Cllr Michael Powell said he was pleased and encouraged to see an increase in police officer numbers in Greater Manchester.

However, he added: "This uplift is smaller than in most of the other regional police forces in England and Wales for the same period, so it will be important to ensure further recruitment takes places and even more is done to grow this increase further.

"We have been calling for more visible local policing for a while and a sustained increase in officers will be key to achieving this goal."

In addition to the recruitment drive, last month the Government announced that police pay will rise by 2.5 per cent this year.

Whitehall has also issued funding to provide over 8,000 more officers with Tasers and expanded stop and search powers.

Mr Wakeford said: “By backing our police with the funding, powers and resources they need, we will keep the public and our communities safe, so that people everywhere can live their lives free from the fear of crime.”