Do the crime figures really add up to fall?

From: RC Curry, Adel Grange Close, Leeds.

REGARDING the reduction in crime (Yorkshire Post, July 19), perhaps it would be wrong to immediately challenge any authority on this issue, but when is a crime not a crime?

For many years it satisfied the country to classify all offences as such. More recently, certainly over the last decade and a half, there has been an increasing practice of recording some as “administrative” breaches with penalties being dealt with by ticket notices dispensed by various authorities. If such incidents are no longer recorded as criminal offences naturally the figures will have improved.

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To get a true reflection of the position it would be necessary to add up all such disposals and include the figure in the totality.

In addition, it would also 
be necessary to include the number of instances which 
the police have dealt with by caution beyond the practice of former years.

Many years experience in these matters showed that when the habit of cautioning and tolerance increased this was followed by a period of more crime, as the offenders had been encouraged to think they had “got away with it”.

Looking at this in the simplest terms which most will understand, ever since the introduction of speed cameras a tolerance has crept in and it has become the accepted habit to add 10 per cent plus a bit, so that 30mph has come to mean about 35mph or so.

Thus, large numbers of offenders get away without being caught. Such tolerances are gleefully exploited by the ever increasing number of mobile users and texters when driving. The latter did not even exist as a crime years ago but must have increased several thousand-fold in recent times. Just where is that recorded? Oh. I forgot, white van man and Mr/Mrs/Ms Middle England do not think they are criminals, so it must be alright.

Scepticism about these so-called crime reductions is not far away.

Flooded with new homes

From: Dr Mike Lowry, Cookridge, Leeds.

PLANS by Taylor Wimpey to build some 200 dwellings in Cookridge defy even the remotest logic. The planned developments are at Mosely Bottom, known locally as “Soggy Bottom”, because of the severe and persistent problems with flooding and water retention.

Winter rains deluge down the hill from the top of Cookridge (a very long way indeed), together with the hills on two adjacent sides, and naturally end up in the valley at Soggy Bottom.

Knock-on effects of this flooding include delays caused to trains on the nearby rail link to Leeds. This is not the first time that Taylor Wimpey have planned to build on this area of former green belt, nor is it unusual for them to build in areas which are prone to flooding, and which cost their new owners dear.

So what can be done? Well, 
for a start, if the projected need for housing is correct, and remember there are thousands of vacant properties in Leeds, then we do not need to plaster more concrete into established communities.

There are many unused brownfield sites across Leeds.

Having already been built on, these areas have had their viability tried over the years.

We need to prevent what councils term “urban sprawl” and to improve environments. Far better still would be to consider the option of building a new town close to established major road links and away from areas such as Cookridge, Horsforth and Headingley, which are already heavily subscribed.

Come on Leeds Council and planners, let’s look at the bigger picture and make some plans which will create new infrastructures for new communities which may better serve the interests of the city, its rate-paying homeowners and the ecology of our fast depleting natural resources.

Dirty cash 
for carbon

From: Habib Purves, Hill Top Mount, Leeds.

FROM this autumn, UK companies will be legally obliged to publish their carbon emissions.

But there is a gaping hole 
in the new rules. Banks and pension funds will have to 
report the climate impact of 
the light bulbs in their offices, 
but they won’t have to say anything about the coal, oil and gas projects they finance worldwide.

Banks and pension funds are driving us towards climate disaster by providing vast sums 
of money for fossil fuel extraction.

Many of these dirty energy projects also ruin the lives of the local people who have to live with the effects of huge open-pit coal mines, or spills from oil drilling.

The Government must make the banks come clean on the emissions from the fossil fuel projects they finance, so that we can push them to stop bankrolling climate change.

After all, it’s our money they’re spending.

A sense of responsibility

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

SO the welfare cuts are going to hit those single parents on benefits with a lots of children. Wouldn’t it be better to introduce benefits only for the first two children?

My son and his wife have two boys. They would love to try for a girl but, on his salary of £23,000, they know they can’t afford another child.

Those on benefits should be encouraged to show the same sense of responsibility.