The appalling murder of PC Andrew Harper in Berkshire this week was a grim reminder of the dangers police officers face daily.

The wink to the courtroom by the accused – broadcast on national television as he was led in – revealed a complete lack of remorse for the devastation he has allegedly caused.

Government Minister Kwasi Kwarteng voiced widely-held concerns when he described a “total disregard” for the police and other people in society.

Saying that Britain is experiencing a generally “more violent and more disrespectful age,” he called for a return of “deference”.

It’s an important point.

Since Robert Peel, we have been policed by consent, requiring both respect and approval from the public.

However, this delicate balance has been undermined over the years as the thin blue line got thinner and thinner, the void being filled by crime and disorder that has demoralized both police officer and us.

With the average sentence for attacking a police officer now at a mere 2.2 months, criminals are emboldened rather than deterred.

Having campaigned vociferously for more officers for a long time, I am delighted that our new Prime Minister has promised just that.

And not before time, with the Chief Constable of Nottingham deciding to arm all his officers with tasers, so high is the threat of violence.

Many I talk to demand a return to national service.

From my experience in the Forces, there is no doubt that young people respond positively to the sort of infrastructure the military offers.

I can see such a move fraught with difficulties, but perhaps the debate can be widened to at least examine what possibilities there might be.

For too many young people today, a sense of service to family, community and country has been lost and this needs to be rectified.