THE town's police are being "badly let down by this Government" said MP Conor McGinn in response to the news Merseyside Police are considering scrapping Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

If the plans - which come on the back of financial pressures - to cut PCSOs across the region go ahead, St Helens would lose around two thirds of its neighbourhood police presence.

The posts that would go include Police Community Support and Traffic Officers.

In St Helens, of 49 current neighbourhood posts, just 15 - consisting of inspectors and constables - would remain.

St Helens Central would lose six PCSOs, St Helens South 21 and St Helens North seven.

PCSOs are a modern equivalent of the old-fashioned 'bobby on the beat', having a visible uniformed presence on the streets. They deal with low level crime such as anti-social behaviour, traffic issues and burglaries.

Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, said: "PCSOs provide an important public-facing policing role in communities in St Helens North.

"The officers I know are professional, dedicated and popular. They are a visible presence which reassures many people that the police are accessible and available.

"Merseyside Police has suffered unprecedented cuts under this Tory Government which has had a real impact on the frontline.

"As we have tragically seen just last week with the murder of PC David Phillips, police officers bravely and selflessly serve our communities.

"They are being badly let down by this Government."

He added: "I will be meeting with both the Police Commissioner and the Chief Constable in Merseyside to offer my support to our police in these very difficult times and to seek assurances about the service that will be provided to keep people in St Helens North safe and secure."

Merseyside Police Deputy Chief Constable Andy Cooke said no final decisions will be made until February 2016.