When inspectors say they have concerns about how a police force is going to manage the financial challeneges it faces over the coming years, we should all sit up and take notice.
Then consider Home Office figures that reveal our county has recorded the biggest percentage increase in theft, domestic burglary, vehicle offences, theft from the person and shoplifting in England and Wales in the past 12 months.
These are not good signs.
Yes, progress has been made in many areas, but the increases in the type of crime outlined above should give us real cause for concern.
These are crimes that directly affect the average man and woman in the street.
We all have homes. Speak to a burglary victim and find out how it makes them feel.
And imagine how you would feel if your home, your private space, had been violated.
So, despite overall crime in the county falling, there are still some very significant areas for improvement.
In short, Her Majesty’s inspectors fear for the future of policing in our county and there have been worrying increases in certain crimes.
It is now up to the senior officers and the police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds and his team to manage the issues, and our expectations of living in a safe and secure county.
It won’t be easy, and there are clear challenges ahead, but improvements are needed.
Neil Pickford, Editor