Letters July 28: Rural crime fears rise as the cuts bite

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From: John Dowson, Beal, Goole.

I READ with great interest your article (The Yorkshire Post, July 21) regarding rural crime and the results of the survey commissioned by the National Rural Crime Network. Dissatisfaction with the service provided by the police is possibly due to severe cuts rather than police inefficiency.

The North Yorkshire Police Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, also chair of the NCRN, quite rightly stated: “Rural communities are starting, more widely, to feel less safe in their communities.”

Added to this, streets in my own village have now been hit by cuts to the hours of operation, ceasing around midnight.

As autumn and winter approach, the hours of darkness increase, along with the working hours of the criminal fraternity.

It will be interesting to see if crime figures increase accordingly.

Austerity is all very well in the right place. I imagine quite a few streets in rural communities are like my own, with a high percentage of pensioners. Security fears for people in affected areas must surely increase and cuts to rural street lighting only add to those fears.

When Hitler was a joke

From: Mrs L Macdonald, Holmfirth.

I AM in complete agreement with Andrew Vine (The Yorkshire Post, July 21) with regard to the Royal snapshots of the Queen as a young girl.

I was eight-years-old when the war started and we all, as children, would strut up and down mimicking the goose step march and the Nazi salute.

We also held the index finger of our left hand under our noses to imitate Hitler’s moustache (not realising how evil he was to become), only to make fun of the ridiculous figure.

I am sure that the Queen Mother and the two princesses were doing exactly the same thing.

Why do the newspapers keep on doing this, not just to our Royal Family but to everyone they think are fair game? I am completely disgusted.

From: Mr R Farley, Camblesforth, Selby.

THANK God there were no film makers around our streets and playgrounds 75 years ago when we lads in Selby (and, no doubt, other parts of Yorkshire, if not the whole country) were strutting, sorry, “goose-stepping” around with right hand raised forwards at an angle of about 45 degrees, and with the first two fingers placed horizontally under our noses.

Hands up those who didn’t! Whoops! Better not.

Protecting our freedoms

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

WITH Westminster’s reputation at an all-time low, could the news that they are thinking of watering down the Freedom of Information Act be more damning and damaging (The Yorkshire Post, July 21)?

Doesn’t Tony Blair’s “safe space” and all the nudging and 
winking which this implies, demonstrate the need for it 
more than ever?

David Cameron needs to understand that, along with Press freedom, the FOI is our brave David against the establishment’s self-serving Goliath.

We need it as a Lancastrian George, endlessly cleaning Westminster windows to ensure the gleaming transparency which we have been endlessly promised.

Has this peevishness been prompted by the latest “who knew what and when?” spluttering over the “pausing” of certain railway upgrades?

Fair deal on strike rules

From: Adrian F Sunman, Newark, Notts.

RACHAEL Maskell (The Yorkshire Post, July 22) makes some interesting points about the Trade Union Bill but she needs to understand that fairness cuts both ways.

Nobody is seeking to outlaw industrial action if union members deem it necessary as a course of last resort.

However, is it not fair that workers are protected from the demand that they take such action unles a reasonable proportion of their union’s membership has voted for it?

Is it not fair that employers be allowed to take reasonable steps to mitigate the effects of such action?

Is it not fair that customers, passengers, patients and so on be allowed to get on with what they have to do with a minimum of disruption to the services they would expect to receive?

Smokescreen on Scotsman?

From: R. Hanson, Swallow Lane, Golcar.

IT is good to hear that the Flying Scotsman, a Gresley Pacific, will at last, after a difficult restoration, be returning to main line service later this year.

However, I hope that before it does return to main line service it obtains its own smokebox number plate 4472 in place of the number plate of Peppercorn Pacific 60163 Tornado.

To me it is an unforgivable blunder (no doubt unintentional) to try to pass off a servicing Tornado as a restoration of the Flying Scotsman.