Your pal the Skipper worries at a spate of incidents involving knives in our sleepy towns over the last ten days, but not for the reasons you’d think.

While it is worrying to hear of people with weapons in the street, we have to look beyond these actions, to their causes.

When armed police are deployed to Falmouth or Penryn, as happened twice last week - or a police call out turns into a tragic death - we have to wonder if mental health issues were an underlying cause. And if so, we also have to ask why mental health services in Cornwall are so tragically underfunded.

If people were able to get the help they need in time, or that help was sustained, they would be less likely to end up confronted with Tasers - or guns.

Instead of waiting until it is too late, we should be ensuring better mental health and social care. These services have been denied funding through years of austerity, and it shows not just in these cases but in high levels of suicide and substance abuse throughout the county.

Nowhere are the failings of our mental and social care systems showing up more starkly than at the all-too-common inquests heard at City Hall in Truro.

Knives on our streets may be scary, but neglecting the people most in need of help is evil.