Sometimes I became a little impatient with the Maryport police.

I was/am a reporter in the town and seldom a week went by when I didn’t get a call asking me to organise a photo of the new additions to the local community team.

There were PCSOs, problem solving officers, town centre beat police - there were boys and girls in blue everywhere.

They had a presence at every community event and usually led the parade.

I would go and see the sergeant of inspector every week to discuss anything that had been happening in the town or to get information about whatever campaign the local cops were running to ensure the safety of the people of our town.

I have been in this country less than 17 years and in Maryport for even less than that. So, I am not talking ancient history. I am not talking about the “good old days” when there was the friendly local Bobby known to everyone.

I am talking about a maximum of 10 years ago.

Last week I did a story about PCSOs helping a Mini Police programme at one of our schools and it is great to see this community involvement again.

But I can’t remember the names of the PCSOs. You don’t see police in the town centre unless there is an incident and the police station has long closed.

Maryport has not become a den of vice and iniquity and police still patrol at night but there is a definite rise in petty crime and antisocial behaviour.

I get furious when I hear politicians claiming that front line services have not been affected by massive budget cuts.

It’s simply not true.

And if it is not true in Maryport or Whitehaven or Cockermouth or Workington, then you can be quite sure it is not true in London or Manchester or any of the other big cities of the United Kingdom.

To our shame, knife crime - murder - has reached what is finally being recognised as an emergency.

As I write this five people have died of knife wounds in the last week. Five! If five kids had died of anything else we would be having enquiries and goodness knows what all.

Instead we have a Prime Minister who was once Home Secretary who assures us the rising violent crime has nothing to do with a fall in police numbers. And she is immediately contradicted by the country’s top cops.

I saw treasurer Phillip Hammond on TV saying that policing is only one demand on the public purse and he is right. The NHS and education are crying out for their share of an ever-shrinking budget.

What bugs me, though, is how the politicians claim that more money than ever before is being spent in all these areas.

If more is being spent on police where are the police officers? If it’s being spent on the NHS, why the waiting lists and if on education, where are the resources.

More police officers may be only one way of combatting knife crime but at least it is something!