On Saturday, I was in Honiton to celebrate the town’s Charter Day. As I was judging window displays in the high street with Dave the Town Crier, we saw several police officers surge out of the police station. This took us by surprise, and we watched as they rushed across the street to make an arrest.

Their swift action, even on a day when the rest of the town was celebrating, highlighted just how important their work is and how it never stops. We all know how much work local officers and community support officers do to help keep everyone in our communities safe. Whether that be responding to the threat of domestic violence, responding to burglaries, or simply patrolling our streets – it all makes a difference.

But it’s plain that the selfless work of those on the frontline is not being matched by back-up from Government – particularly in relation to community-facing roles. We’ve seen the number of local Community Support Officers slashed by 60 per cent since 2015, and we’ve also seen response times rise while conviction rates have fallen across the country. This is not a judgement on our local force, but rather an indictment on the Government in Westminster.

Many of us remember growing up and knowing our local police officers – or at least knowing who they were! We need to revive that tradition of community policing, where our towns and villages work hand-in-hand with the police to help stop crime at source. One of the ways this can happen is for the police service to be an open and accessible organisation.

This week we will see a celebration marking the anticipated re-opening of the front desk at Honiton Police Station, following a long campaign - and an online public consultation, which I helped promote. I know that many local people responded to the poll; and it is something that I drew attention to in Parliament. It will enable us to speak in person to a member of staff and will further connect the police service and local people. It follows the re-opening of the front desk at Tiverton, which I celebrated earlier this year with officers there.

I hope we will see further investment in frontline policing, to ensure we have the visible presence of the sort that the Dave the Town Crier and I saw last Saturday.