How often have we heard people say that to see police officers on the beat brings a sense of reassurance?
However, the events of Tuesday evening in Grangemouth put a different perspective on things when unsuspecting motorists and pedestrians witnessed heavily armed police officers involved in an operation that saw a man detained.
We don’t yet know why but have been told it was a planned operation and, given the number of officers involved and the weapons several of them were carrying, there is no reason to doubt this.
But is this something that we should expect to see in our communities more? Indeed, it is a response that we want to see?
Opinions differ and you are never going to get 100 per cent agreement.
As journalists we report on incidents where you could never imagine the level of brutality one human being could use against another. Would these individuals be deterred if they knew that every police officer carried weapons, perhaps not.
While those who chose to journey down a path which links them to terrorism appear so fanatical that nothing, not even death, could act as a deterrent.
Since the events of 9/11 we’ve witnessed a higher level of security around our government buildings and our airports. But do we and should we expect to see even more as we go about our daily lives.
Did the troops and increased number of armed police on our streets in the wake of the Manchester bombing stop further terrorists acts? Most of us will never know, but we will take our lead from those who look after our safety.