This week's crime figures demonstrate once again that not only is the number of crimes recorded by police falling, but that the more resilient Crime Survey of adults in England and Wales confirms the trend.
Many issues flow from this data, not least that Labour's scaremongering about the adverse impact of reducing police officer numbers is shown to be wholly unjustified. The residual annoyance is that over the years research in a wide variety of jurisdictions has consistently demonstrated the lack of any direct correlation between police numbers and crime. Interestingly, Labour's message has lately moved to saying the number of arrests made by police is coming down. They don't seem to understand that fewer crimes will inevitably lead to a reduction in arrests over time.
The last point reinforces the additional benefits of effective law enforcement. Successive Home Secretaries have made clear the need to reduce time spent on paperwork. In policing, what better way to do so than by doing as Theresa May has consistently said and "Reduce crime". Fewer crimes = less crime reports to fill in = more time on the beat.
At the strategic level, apart from reducing the impact upon victims, crime reduction takes enormous cost out of policing, whether staff time or simply getting around and investigating or prosecuting the offences involved. This year's reduction represents savings running into millions of pounds.