There are a number of ways to measure the impact of police activity on a community, writes Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire.
Crime figures are only part of the story but they do help officers gauge whether new approaches are working.
Like other areas of Nottinghamshire, Mansfield and Ashfield have benefited from some additional neighbourhood officers.
This is all part of the plan to build up strength following many years of cuts.
The teams continue to target the problems impacting on community life and the results, so far, have been very positive.
The most recent figures available, which cover the period of April 1 to June 26, show all crime in Ashfield has fallen by 0.3 per cent in comparison to the same period last year .
And crimes involving a victim have dropped by a higher rate of 5.4 per cent.
Ashfield, in particular, is bucking the national trend in a whole host of crime categories - anti-social behaviour (ASB) has fallen by 4.6 per cent, vehicle offences by 43 per cent, violence with injury by 8.2 per cent and hate crime by 3.8 per cent.
In Mansfield, residential burglaries have dropped by 5.2 per cent while burglaries of business premises have fallen at a rate of 13.6 per cent.
ASB has reduced by 3.3 per cent while violence with injury is down by 9.7 per cent.
The neighbourhood policing team in both Mansfield and Ashfield continually monitors crime trends and reacts to risk with proactive, target-driven operations in crime hotspots and they are working.
While extra police officers certainly help, it is the partnership working which is especially making a difference.
The Ashfield Community Partnership is the vehicle for addressing the challenges in the area and involves a whole host of agencies including local councils, youth services, housing, environmental health and the fire service.
The partnership’s problem-solving plan applied to the Coxmoor estate earlier this year has delivered huge reductions in crime and ASB.
Two similar plans are running in Sutton town centre and Sutton east.
The key to the success is increased communication and relationship building among the various agencies.
Officers are working with partners to utilise all the legislation open to them.
Crime figures tell a story.
I know Nottinghamshire’s officers place great value on the feedback they receive from local people.
Those who live in Ashfield and Mansfield are reporting that things are getting better, which makes the effort even more worthwhile.