IT’S wrong but I suppose we now have to accept that the security of our homes, possessions and even ourselves starts and often finishes with us.

With less police officers available and explosions in calls on their time in areas like domestic abuse, violence and cyber crime – plus all the paperwork now involved in everything they do - we just cannot rely on the police to solve all our community problems.

Subsequent governments either refuse or feel unable to invest more funds in our police forces and so officers have to prioritise their time. As a result – and because some crimes like burglary are difficult to solve – new figures show that hundreds of thousands of recorded crimes are never solved.

In 57 per cent of robberies and around 14 per cent of violent offences and sexual attacks, no perpetrator was ever identified.

This is no criticism of the police. They still do a fantastic job and most of us would still automatically contact them if something happened. They remain underpinning society.

However, there seems to be a rise in evil criminals who take advantage of the current situation and the soaring crime rate reflects this.

Unfortunately, as well as taking much greater responsibility for domestic security and being sensible about the basics of looking after ourselves, our loved ones and our possessions, we have to be realistic about what happens next when something nasty occurs and trim our expectations.

It’s sad but we need to be more suspicious of strangers – those who come to the door, those who suddenly appear in our community and those who contact us in person or online.

Crime online has never been so sophisticated and it’s very easy to be caught in a scam before you realise it. There is, though, a simple rule of never divulging your personal bank details, no matter how plausible the request, that will help protect us all.

And use the basic idea that if something sounds too good, it probably is.

Avoiding potentially dangerous situations, securing homes and property, using lights and alarms and keeping insurance up to date are the kind of things we now do automatically. I know grandmothers and eggs come to mind but it’s amazing how much can just be forgotten.

Unfortunately, it is our mindset that needs changing the most and, like many things today, we need to take responsibility for looking after ourselves.