in RECENT weeks, a number of retired or former police officers have written letters in The Yorkshire Post that were extremely critical of policing standards today. There was also a column by GP Taylor.
This is very sad at a time when the police service is under so much pressure with massively reduced budgets and the additional demands of tackling terrorism, internet crime, modern day slavery, child sexual exploitation on an industrial scale and even new legislation on internet trolls.
The list is endless, not helped by criticism levelled at it from the Government, media and other sections of society. The last thing that serving officers need is published attacks on them by former officers who have had their day and can never hope to understand the pressures of policing in 2014.
As in any organisation, mistakes have been made over the years and operations going back 20 or 30 years and more recently are quite correctly under scrutiny adding to the perception that policing has lost its way. That is not the case.
As a retired officer like GP Taylor, I also remember with pride my Police Training School days but in 1962 not 1986 as he recalled. Even in those days long-standing serving officers moaned that “things were not like this when I joined”. I vouched then that I would never fall into that trap when I subsequently retired.
Like GP Taylor, I was also seriously injured several times on duty but recovered to continue to serve more than full service and then into a career linked to criminal justice and the voluntary sector.
There are some aspects of policing, particularly relating to appearance and the uniform, that I dislike, but I have the utmost admiration for the way our colleagues today are responding professionally to the additional demands on them when almost every headline could discourage them as they perceive that public support has been lost.
By all means quietly and respectfully challenge poor service, but above all give credit for the for the very good service overall that is given by brave and dedicated officers working under immense pressure.
Taxing times for water boss
From: Peter Rigby, Beamsley, Skipton.
YOUR article (The Yorkshire Post, November 7) regarding the appointment of a new chairman at Yorkshire Water is welcome news.
Professor Parry-Jones needs to look very carefully at Yorkshire Water’s tax avoidance activities, as well as this company’s relationship with customers, employees and Yorkshire’s taxpayers, all of whom have good reason to feel anger at their failure to pay corporation tax by the use of highly dubious tax avoidance schemes.
As most of your readers will know, the chairman Kevin Whiteman and the managing director Richard Flint were “dragged down to London to be grilled” in front of a House of Commons Select Committee, following revelations by Charlie Elphicke MP that Yorkshire Water was the worst case of tax avoidance by public utilities, adding that they were “an especially egregious example”. Nearly £1bn of profit – on which they had paid not one single penny in corporation tax!
As my MP Julian Smith put it: “What Yorkshire Water fails to pay in taxes, you and I have to make up the shortfall.”
Mr Whiteman is now on his way. The “asleep at the stick” chief executive of Ofwat has gone. Perhaps there will be others who will be leaving soon.
Yorkshire Water, an essential public utility, has no competition, has its prices fixed by Ofwat and at twice the rate of inflation. This Company now needs to clean up our water and beaches, clean up its house, and start paying taxes like everyone else in Yorkshire.
I hope Professor Parry-Jones will now get to grips with all this.
Funds wasted on big payout
From: John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn.
WELL, now we have it in black and white. NHS funds are not being spent on care of the patient, but to pay people extravagant salaries for doing very little.
A couple who had to give up their jobs in the North East are to get £1m in redundancy (The Yorkshire Post, November 10). That is not the worst. They move to Yorkshire and get £120,000, plus pension rights for just four months of work. When I eventually picked myself up off the ground having read of this affair I could hardly believe it. I don’t think that anybody in our Health Service is worth that sort of pay.
Whoever is responsible for such extravagance should pay a visit to our hospitals where staff, in most cases, are working for a pittance by comparison to keep the NHS heads above water.
That goes, also, for our politicians who come onto TV and talk as if they know everything about this subject, but who know nothing, and all they do is argue with their opposite number who also knows nothing relevant to the debate in hand.
How many of them have gone out of their way to see how our health service works. Very few, I should think. It is time somebody did a proper examination about who earns what in the NHS.
We want truth from our MPs
From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
SURELY the time has come to face the Tory leadership and put the question to them to tell the truth and not deceive us anymore, not only on the EU issue but also the NHS, education, immigration, benefits, pensions and jobs.
We, I mean the rest of the electorate, are getting fed up with the posh boys lying to the UK when they speak in Parliament, by avoiding questions. We need to be told the truth!