Last week I visited Downing Street for a celebration of the police uplift programme – the scheme that has seen a further 20,000 police officers added to forces’ ranks in England and Wales.

In Devon and Cornwall this nationally-funded increase in officer numbers was combined with a locally-funded uplift which I launched a couple of years earlier. The result is that since I was elected to office in 2016 another 686 officers have started work in communities around our two counties. Total force strength now stands at 3,610 – a figure higher than at any other time in Devon and Cornwall Police’s history.

My attention, and that of our Acting Chief Constable and Government, has been focused on getting people in and training them to the highest standards, it now must be on ensuring that these officers are put to good use.

We must ensure our communities’ extra investment in policing results in more crimes being investigated and greater public confidence in policing. Police forces have been rocked by scandals in recent months and years, but as damaging to policing as ‘rotten apples’ is the crime which is not investigated properly when there is evidence to identify a culprit.

It is completely understandable that people get frustrated when their stolen goods turn up in online sales, or they have to track down their own CCTV footage of a crime. The sense that police screen out so-called minor crime just has to stop.

All too often, the public feel that information they provide to police about a crime is not acted on. This must stop as it misses opportunities to solve crimes and bring perpetrators to justice. The public expect more than just being given a crime number when they report a crime. They want to see police taking visible action.

I strongly support the Government’s focus on a back-to-basics approach, which places catching criminals and supporting victims of crime at the forefront of the policing mission. And I was pleased to see the Home Secretary and Policing Minister ask Chief Constables to commit to follow all reasonable lines of enquiry for all crime types. No crime investigations should be screened out solely on the basis that they are perceived as “minor”.

This is vital because there is no such thing as a “minor” crime. If any crime type is unchecked, public confidence is undermined, an atmosphere of disorder and menace can rapidly develop and there is the likelihood of escalation to more serious or widespread offending. Offences such as shoplifting, mobile phone theft, car theft, criminal antisocial behaviour (ASB) and public drug possession all merit investigation where there is a reasonable line of enquiry to pursue, and prosecution where the evidence supports it.