The police who serve our community deserve our praise, gratitude and unstinting support.

Despite reductions in manpower over recent years, our brave officers have held their own.

As you know, we have announced that 20,000 more officers are to be recruited and I am working with the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure we see our fair share.

But to stress the existing professionalism of the police in Weymouth and Portland, I’d like to highlight a summer initiative called ‘one hundred days of summer’.

It was led by Inspector Barry Gosling, who was responding to increased demands for policing from residents and businesses.

They were reacting to the seasonal boom in antisocial behaviour and associated crimes.

To use their resources to best effect, the police carefully analyzed previous crime statistics, directing officers to key hotspots at random times, putting nuisance-makers at a distinct disadvantage.

The strategy has been a stunning success.

Melcombe Regis has seen an overall decrease in antisocial behaviour of 22 per cent between June and September, contributing to a 30.5 per cent fall since April.

Interestingly, crime generally has seen a 21 per cent reduction over the same period.

Inspector Gosling achieved these results with his existing team and resources by working closely with the council’s community safety patrols and continuously engaging with the public, including via Facebook.

Persistent offenders were tackled using existing legislation.

Inspector Gosling rightly credits this success to his officers’ flexibility and goodwill.

They were tired, but elated, knowing they were making a big difference.

So big, in fact, that Weymouth police are putting all they have learnt into a new initiative, #bootsontheground.

More officers will, without doubt, help them to continue this outstanding work.