To be fair to Theresa May, the 20% cut to police numbers on her watch tells only part of the story. Other cuts have been much more severe than that.

So-called back office staff have seen their numbers trimmed by a whacking great 25%. These are back office staff in the loosest sense only because they carry out all manner of vital functions, such as gathering information at crime scenes, taking witness statements, fingerprinting and so much more. These are essential police functions since without all these things the police cannot hope to present the CPS with sufficient evidence with which to prosecute criminals. So someone else has to do that back office work. Guess who gets to do it?

Your answer might be PCSOs, but here’s another problem. Mrs May has cut the number of PCSOs by 38%. Whilst PCSOs carried out different functions to regular police officers, again someone has to do all that work. Guess who get to do it?

In a previous life, I worked closely with police officers and I saw, at first hand, just how thin the blue line had become. Not just at police stations where officers were often bogged down with paperwork and bureaucracy (and don’t defence lawyers know it), but, for example, at major transport hubs. I’ll not go into detail but suffice to say many people would be both horrified and terrified if they knew just how thinly resources were spread to the extent that in some places there are simply no resources at all.

I have a confession here: I like coppers. I was always a little suspicious of the police following various encounters with them at football matches and some political events, but as I built relationships and in some instances lasting friendships I began to understand what they did, why they did it and it kept our society relatively civilised. And, as we saw yet again on Saturday, police officers run towards danger whilst the rest of us run away. Whilst there are bound to be good cops and bad cops, my experience in recent years has always been of meeting the good ones and I have known, for a long time, that the police are stretched in so many areas to uncomfortable levels.

My concerns about resourcing are not new. There are large areas where policing is non existent. Minor drug dealers are largely ignored, most thefts go uninvestigated, wide swathes of the country never see a police officer from one month, one year, to the next.

Cuts have consequences. We do not know if cuts to policing were relevant to recent atrocities, in terms of the response of the day or to the planning, so it would be foolish to make such an assertion. Mrs May comes out with her usual meaningless soundbite saying that after the latest attack “enough is enough”, as if all the previous attacks weren’t enough in themselves. If enough really is enough, we need to restore police numbers at least to their previous level as soon as humanly possible.

In response to a question as to whether Mrs May should resign following the massive cuts to police numbers, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn said she should but added that it would be better if the electorate would carry out this function on Thursday instead. The point is that in her time as home secretary, May was constantly at war with the police, slashing their numbers and sapping their morale, cutting their pensions, making them work longer and generally treating them with contempt. She isn’t going to resign today but she is, more than ever, damaged goods regardless of how large a majority she gets this week.