The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows an increase in crime over the past year of about 10% across almost all types of crime. This is shocking in itself but if it points to a developing trend, it is seriously worrying.

Some of the rises, while not necessarily large in number, are of very serious crimes – such as gun crimes, up by 23%, and knife crimes by 20%.

This is one reason why the South Yorkshire Police knife amnesty gives an opportunity to get some weapons off the streets and should be welcomed. It may also be one reason why there seems to be more support for stop and search than there was a few years ago.

While it may be too simplistic to say that this is all due to the cut back in police numbers, there is little doubt that fewer police officers has to be one contributory factor.

The decline of neighbourhood policing has not helped, which is why I asked the Chief Constable to restore neighbourhood policing to South Yorkshire when I appointed him last year.