BURY South MP Ivan Lewis has met the head of Greater Manchester Police Authority over the impending loss of 19 frontline officers in the borough.

Bosses say the Bury division is over-staffed, forcing the redeployment of 18 constables and one sergeant to Manchester city centre.

But the move has been condemned by Mr Lewis and his Bury North counterpart, David Chaytor, who are angry at the way the decision was made by Chief Constable Michael Todd.

In a joint statement, the two MPs said: "We are also very concerned about his failure to consult relevant partners. We are proud that, under this Government, Bury has benefited from a year-on-year increase in the number of police officers. We want assurances that these gains will be maintained and built up in the future through a funding system which is fair and open."

They met Greater Manchester Police Authority chairman Derek Osbaldestin earlier this week.

The decision has also been criticised by the local Police Federation representative, PC Andy Wright, who said: "The police officers in Bury perform as well if not better than the rest of the force in all areas. Our reward for doing that is to lose police. Who suffers? The public who reside and work in our area."

Divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Garry Shewan, has defended the decision by disclosing that Bury has had 59 extra officers since 2000 and during the past 12 months numbers have been above the allocated level understood to be 313 officers.

He also disclosing that Bury's crime has fallen 12.6 per cent this year, which he said was a result of "new methods of working and a commitment by police officers and their partners".