We sometimes expect too much from those who protect us and our families. Firefighters, police, paramedics and military personnel are asked to do some of the hardest, unimaginably difficult jobs, that many of us would shy away from.

We expect them to be there, at all times, when we’re in our hour of greatest need, and the professionalism and integrity of our blue light services is something of which we as a country are rightly proud.

Not only that, but over the last decade of austerity we’ve paid them back by subjecting them to crippling pay freezes and the asset-stripping of the organisations that are there to protect us.

However, the one thing we must demand of them is respect. Respect for the communities they serve, and respect for the taxpayers who fund them.

And PC Matt Simpson, who was yesterday found guilty of gross misconduct while on duty, fell way below that standard. By skipping work to sleep with a woman, PC Simpson jeopardised the safety of the community he was serving, and wasted hours of service which taxpayers have paid for.

The salacious details of the affair are not the key point here: the point is that he neglected the community he was paid to protect.