POLICE constable numbers in Cambridgeshire are at a four-year high as 10 officers return to the county.

The return of the officers, who had been working in collaboration with units in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, will bring the number of officers to 1,043 - the highest level since 2009.

The force has 32 more constables this year than last and 55 more than in 2008, although the number is four fewer than the 2009 figure. However, the total number of officers in the force has fallen from 1,402 in 2011 to 1,381 in 2013.

Chief constable Simon Parr said that he was delighted that a small increase of 1.9 per cent in the force's part of the Council Tax precept, which was set out by the Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Graham Bright, allowed him to take the officers back.

Mr Parr said that the officers would be back working in Cambridgeshire, but the exact areas were yet to be decided.

At a briefing at the police headquarters in Hinchingbrooke on Thursday, the chief constable told The Hunts Post: "Whereas some forces have put a halt on recruitment we have been in a position where we have continued to recruit so we continue to have the same level of experience in our officers."

Mr Parr also welcomed changes to the definition of domestic violence to include 16 and 17-year-olds, a change that comes into force from Sunday (March 31).

"I think it's good news that they are now included." he said, "as it opens up a lot of support to victims that may have been assaulted in a domestic situation but have not had the same access to specialist support due to their age."

Mr Parr added that he and Sir Graham were working well together.

"Sir Graham has been out and about in the county talking to people and is feeding that information back to us," he said