One of the first things I do each morning is check the news and see what has been happening across North Ayrshire.

I am always struck by the range of very positive stories about what individuals, charities and businesses in our community have been up to.

In the past fortnight alone we have seen the generosity of local residents towards the Crosshouse Hospital Easter egg appeal, a local student rightly receiving recognition for saving a stranger’s life with CPR, and the inspirational Richie Harkin running a colossal 100 miles in one day, raising £600 for the Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs charity following the loss of his friend.

But whilst we regularly see the best of our community, sadly instances of crime and anti-social behaviour are all too common in local news.

In my view, we need a justice system that effectively addresses the causes of crime in our area and that also serves as a deterrent, but unfortunately at the moment the system is overwhelmingly weighed in favour of the criminal rather than victims.

Barely a day goes by without a case coming across my desk from a victim in our community and we all see reports in print media and online on a regular basis.

In the past few days alone, there have been multiple reports of abuse towards our police, assaults on North Ayrshire residents and instances of anti-social behaviour.

The question is what actions can be taken to reduce crime and ensure that local residents feel as safe as they can in their homes and in the wider community?

As one of your Regional MSPs, but also as the Shadow Justice Secretary, I make it my duty to stand up for the victims of crime day in, day out.

What has been clear to me is that local police need to be better supported by the Scottish Government so that they are able to do their job as effectively as possible.

Right now, the SNP Government is seeking to make a real-terms cut to Police Scotland’s capital budget, and our division alone has already lost 46 frontline officers since 2013, falling from 862 to 816.

This might not sound like a big fall but that is against the backdrop of police having more on their plates than ever before.

And, in my view, they aren’t being properly supported or resourced by the SNP either: I recently highlighted in Holyrood how half of police vehicles are now past their intended replacement date, how too many police stations are in a poor condition and how 165,000 days of police work have been lost due to mental illness across Scotland.

There are no simple answers to these complex problems of crime but this chronic underfunding of our brave police officers simply must stop.

Victims, rather than perpetrators, need to be put first, something I am seeking to achieve with my new “Victims Law” which I hope will progress through Parliament.

I appeal to you make your voice heard and take part in the consultation here: