By Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner and Kier Pritchard, Chief Constable
Hidden demand on police time comes in a variety of guises. Over the past week we have been looking at how alcohol and drug abuse can drain resources while not being visible to the public.
Our joint summer-long campaign - Beyond The Beat - aims to give an insight into the less visible side of policing, from mental health demands and cybercrime to modern day slavery and dangerous drug networks.
In 2017, there were more than 1,300 incidents in Wiltshire and Swindon where alcohol and/or drugs were deemed to be a contributing factor and there was a relationship between the victim and offender; of these incidents 85 per cent happened behind closed doors.
Increasing demands on our services are coupled with rapidly reducing funds from central government and growing shortages of experienced staff.
We are keen that residents are more aware of the hidden demands on staff and officers' time, and the continued squeezing of resources.
There is a difference between harm seen in communities due to anti-social behaviour and the complexities of hidden harm such as crime related to alcohol and drug abuse. These issues can be far more challenging to deal with.
Our Force continues to do the best it can with the resources available, but there is only so far the budget will stretch.
We are using what we have efficiently while meeting complex policing needs, and that has been echoed by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in last year's round of inspections, where we received consistently "good" gradings.
Modern-day crimes can be invisible and, as a result, so is the policing response. Gone are the days where the traditional bobby on the beat was the only way in which constabularies kept communities safe.
The nature of demand is changing and the reality is that lots of hard work carried out by our officers that simply goes unseen by the public.
Last week we shone a light on how alcohol and drug-related crimes can absorb vast amounts of police time and resources at a time when demand is increasing and budgets are getting tighter.
We cannot face this alone and need to draw on the strength of partners to play an equal part in finding the solutions - especially with prevention strategies and safeguarding people who are vulnerable to crime and criminal exploitation.
We want to reassure the people of Wiltshire and Swindon that Wiltshire Police is committed to fighting crime and protecting the public and that it endeavours to offer the very best service to victims.
You can join in the conversation and keep up to date on this campaign on this website or by following our social media channels and using #BeyondTheBeat.