THIS week a lot has been said about the state of policing in England and Wales.

And all of it confirmed what most of us have known for a while – there simply aren’t enough police officers on our streets.

Of course, neither Home Secretary Sajid Javid, nor the government’s spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) spoke those exact words. But what they did say was pretty damning.

Mr Javid admitted to senior officers that the service had not received enough resources to meet the “challenges and complexities and crimes” it faces.

Meanwhile, the NAO went further. Its report suggested that the situation “could get worse” if the Home Office does not “direct resources to where they are needed”.

It also said that falling funding and staffing levels in the last eight years had contributed to increased levels of “high harm” crimes. At the same time as his admission, Mr Javid claimed that more resources had been allocated to the police in the past three years.

Whether that is true or not, there seems little evidence of it for the public to see. To be clear, this is not a criticism of the police themselves.

Although no organisation is perfect, Greater Manchester Police officers do an incredibly challenging job that most of us wouldn’t fancy taking on for any amount of money.

It is also a job that is increasingly dangerous, with new and worrying threats – including terrorism – being thrown into the mix all the time.

After the Arena bombing in Manchester last year, GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins outlined the cuts to officer numbers since 2010 and warned that it meant resources were stretched. By 2020, there will be almost 3,000 fewer policemen and women on our streets.

Having to lose so many officers is bound to have a significant and noticeable impact on the community.

Adding to the chorus of concern this week was Ch Supt Gavin Thomas, president of the Police Superintendents’ Association. He said the service was “utterly reliant” on fewer members of staff working longer and harder and that as a result the public was being “defrauded”. It is very dangerous indeed when you find yourself shrugging your shoulders faced with the real possibility that the likelihood of the person who burgled your house or stole your car being caught in 2018 is virtually nil.

We absolutely must not accept that this is OK, that, to quote an irritatingly oft-used phrase, “it is what it is”.

No it isn’t. We must not resign ourselves to an expectation that an officer might not turn up for days after a report of a burglary, or a car theft.

It is a fact that an increasing number of burglaries and other crimes in Greater Manchester and the UK are not being solved. You cannot underestimate the lasting impact this has on the victims and we should not have to tolerate it. It is about time we started getting vocal about cuts to policing and put the issue to the top of the political agenda. Ultimately it affects us all and politicians need to understand how angry we are about it. We deserve better.