YP Letters: Fighting crime is matter of intelligence not police numbers

Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
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From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

CRIMINALS never believe they will be caught (The Yorkshire Post, April 10). Whatever police numbers are, may be or should be, it doesn’t make a scrap of difference – thugs will still go out and rob, injure or kill. Because that’s the way they are.

In one of my former careers as a senior Customs officer, I was often asked whether we had enough people guarding our coasts against smugglers.

“How many is enough?” I would reply. “If we had sufficient numbers of Customs officers to stand arm in arm around the coast, smugglers would still get through, so instead we adopt an intelligence-based approach designed to target our resources – which in a free society will always be limited – against the most likely threats.”

Later, working on the police desk at the Home Office, I got similar inquiries which I countered by pointing out that if we positioned a police officer on every street corner or outside every bank – even assuming any sane politician would sanction the vast expenditure involved – street crime would still flourish and banks would still get robbed.

This is not defeatism, it is realism.

In any case, police numbers in London and indeed elsewhere have risen, a fact pointed out by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner when she was interviewed recently, to which I recall she added that in her opinion reported reductions in police numbers were not responsible for the increase in stabbings on London’s streets.

The plain fact is that unless there is intelligence that a crime is being planned, there is nothing that any police officer can realistically do to stop a youth arming themselves with a knife and going out to stab someone, whether in London, Driffield or anywhere else.

From: Karl Sheridan, Holme upon Spalding Moor.

IT’S amazing how neatly Amber Rudd dismissed the rise in knife crime as nothing to do with cost cutting to the police service.

She then neatly blamed the lack of policing on the streets as being down to the police commissioners and how they manage their budget, shrugging off any responsibility by the Government. If anything I’d say that Amber Rudd herself, as well as the Home Office, are in denial, as is usual with politicians that are isolated from reality.

What further annoys me is that the streets of London will be flooded with extra police. However, here in my village in Yorkshire, we hardly ever see a police officer.