Even Theresa May must see that there is a high risk, if not a certainty, that her haphazard cuts and unfairness of distribution will remove many such constables even as the nature of crime is changing and the threat of the most serious crimes is increasing. There will be many more victims - and it is them we will be thinking of when we hear Thursday's announcements.
On the whole, I'm proud of our police force. Not in an idealistic way, I'm aware there are police officers who have done horrendous things, but I think they do one of the most thankless jobs in society for rather average pay. They may have the Police Federation, but they have no real union power like the Fire Service; the police cannot go on strike and for this reason alone they deserve to be treated with respect.