YOUR special report ‘White-dominated thin blue line in upper ranks of region’s police’ (The Yorkshire Post, November 8) no doubt highlights a worthy issue, but it also reveals an astonishing and alarming statistic.
Assuming your data is correct, it would seem that the number of officers ranked inspector or above in North Yorkshire is one per cent less than in West Yorkshire and one per cent more than in South Yorkshire and Humberside combined, although its population is little more than one-third of each of these two areas of comparison.
Furthermore, both areas have a much higher urban concentration, much larger motorway network and even a much higher number of major football clubs, all of which must increase the relative demand for policing, while South Yorkshire/Humberside comprises two separate command structures with consequently double the senior staff overhead.
I accept that North Yorkshire covers a much greater geographical area with a larger road network, and that rural crime cannot be dismissed, but surely these issues demand more constables and sergeants on the ground rather than higher ranks? How many inspectors does it take to catch speeding motorcyclists and sheep rustlers?
I look forward to hearing that North Yorkshire Police are taking urgent action to reduce their senior ranks by between one-half and two-thirds, that most of the cost saved will go towards recruiting more officers into junior ranks and that a little of it will be returned to us council tax payers.
Alternatively, perhaps there is a strong case for combining all four areas into one, with economies of scale all round?
No rail cash left for North
From: Mr R Hanson, Swallow Lane, Golcar, Huddersfield.
MUCH has been said about the need to provide longer express trains for more services to reduce overcrowding on the services from Scarborough, York and Hull to Manchester, Manchester Airport and Liverpool and also Sheffield to Manchester and Manchester Airport.
There are also calls for faster train to much reduce journey times. Much has been said about replacing the 30-year-old Pacer trains on Northern Rail’s route that are no longer fit for purpose with modern comfortable stock.
The Government has said that any company taking over a train operating franchise will be stripped of that franchise if it does not comply with the above. It is certainly vote-catching.
However this takes money and lots of it. Until the London’s Crossrail and Thameslink schemes are completed, as well as new improvements to the London Underground, there will not be much money from the Government for any northern rail infrastructure upgrades, or new rolling stock.
From: David Davies, Burgess Road, Brigg.
IT should be noted that the primary objective in putting power lines underground in the Pennines is to render the concept of re-opening the ‘new’ Woodhead Tunnel as a rail link between Lancashire and Yorkshire impossible.
There has been a determined campaign for some considerable time to utilise this tunnel for high-tension electricity cables. There is plenty of room in the two ‘old’ tunnels.
Who listens to Sentamu?
From: Paul Chapman, Hudswell Chapel, Richmond.
IS John Sentamu a clergyman who people only listen to out of common courtesy? Your headline (The Yorkshire Post, November 11) stated that the Archbishop of York had urged the CBI to banish the stain of low wages.
I wonder how much experience Dr Sentamu has of running a business?
Paying the living wage would probably be inflationary and the recipients would be no better off. Perhaps the way forward would be no tax or national insurance deductions for people earning the minimum wage.
As for John Sentamu, cocooned in the wealth of the Church of England, his time would be better spent helping to sort out the crumbling churches and ridiculously low congregations.
Peace envoy’s utter failure
From: John Parker, Station Road, Baildon, Shipley.
WE constantly read about the Syrian civil war, the rise of IS in neighbouring Iraq and the conflict between Israel and Gaza, with massive destruction and loss of life.
I ask what the Middle East peace envoy, Tony Blair, has been doing to solve these disputes? Surely he should be shuttling between the different parties trying to negotiate a ceasefire or settlement to reduce the damage and suffering?
He seems to have left the area completely alone and hoped that someone else would do something to sort out the mess left by his previous ill-advised adventures in the Middle East.
Instead, we read about time spent arranging a celebration for his wife’s 60th birthday, lamenting that he is worth ‘less than £20m’, and trying to rewrite history by claiming that the new savagery in Iraq is nothing to do with his actions as George W Bush’s puppet in the 2003 invasion which destabilised the whole region.