YP Letters: Time to force police to take different tack

Should there be crime commissioners - and should there be just one police force for Yorkshire?
Should there be crime commissioners - and should there be just one police force for Yorkshire?
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From: Ian Smith, Colston Close, Bradford.

AS one person who returned the crime commissioner voting paper unmarked and unspoilt, I hope there’s no implied criticism that I am neglecting my democratic duty (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, May 5).

You see, I do not agree with PCCs being affiliated to a political party. The police service is and always should be apolitical, so its bosses should be. I might have voted for a candidate who declared “independence”, depending upon his/her priorities, but there wasn’t one. If the system rejects my “none of the above” vote, then it’s time for a system rethink.

I do have a political viewpoint and vote accordingly in local and national elections, but not in elections for positions that should demonstrate political neutrality.

Most people will agree that the forces are very top heavy and too light on the ground, and I agree that one force may essentially cover the whole of Yorkshire.

But why stop there? Why not have just three forces – for London (The Met), for Wales and for England? As pointed out, Scotland has only one.

Criminals and the like don’t respect boundaries, but the police are hidebound by their own boundaries and their 
innate professional protectionism.

From: John Appleyard, Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge.

I WAS in Bridlington for a weekend conference when I heard of the tragic events at Hillsborough football ground in 1989.

The deaths of 96 men, women and children also left thousands traumatised and angry at the subsequent cover-up by the establishment.

In those days, football supporters were herded into grounds like cattle.

Both Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur fans had complained to the Football Association in 1981 and 1987 about the lack of space at the Hillsborough stadium.

All credit to those families who fought for justice over a 27-year period. They are a credit to this country.

We now need to right another wrong, the policing of the Miners’ Strike in 1984/85 and the so-called Battle of Orgreave where many were injured and dozens falsely arrested on trumped-up charges by South Yorkshire Police.

Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham is right to demand publication of the censored section of an Independent Police Complaints Commission report that connects Orgreave to Hillsborough.

Think ethics over ethnicity

From: John Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

IT will be interesting to learn what Shami Chakrabarti, formerly of Liberty, decides that Labour Party members can be permitted to say, think or feel about members of other ethnic and religious groups. At root, it is a question not just of how we treat others but of whether we regard them as being “regular people” like ourselves.

It would perhaps not be unreasonable to respond with the question “Do they regard me as just another regular person?” One might go further and ask how they would regard me if, counterfactually, I and many more like me were settling in what they consider to be their own traditional core territory.

This is potentially a defence of negative attitudes and yet is based upon the apparently respectable demand for reciprocity. It is the same defence which seeks to justify opposition to net immigration as being more legitimate than opposition to immigration in general. Many of the ideologically pure will of course be contemptuous of such a defence.

But in rejecting the appeal to reciprocity, are we not in danger of setting a higher ethical standard for one ethnic group than for another?

Wouldn’t that be fundamentally racist?

Doctor strikes ill-conceived

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

THERE are basically two kinds of strike. One is aimed at damaging the economy to put pressure on the Government or business to settle. That kind of action seems to have passed its peak.

The other action which is calculated to affect people’s wellbeing, and even lives for financial advantage, is even less justifiable than the other one.

Doctors are supposed to put patients’ health at the top of their priorities so it reflects nothing but discredit on them.

Now airport can fly higher

From: Mrs Valerie Moody, Little Smeaton.

HURRAH! Wonderful!“The saga of one airport’s road to prosperity” (The Yorkshire Post, May 5). I have been beating the drum on behalf of the airport and Doncaster generally since I first flew from the airport in its first week of operation.

Many times I have written to your newspaper trying to elicit an answer to its massive underuse and wasted potential.

Let us fervently hope this new road will bring to the airport and the Doncaster area some much- needed prosperity!