From: Graham Stuart, Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness.
MANY local farmers have been the victims of the organised gangs behind hare coursing.
So I was privileged to be asked earlier this year to launch the CLA’s national campaign to deter hare coursing, a scourge in the vast, flat open farmland of my constituency. I’m working with the CLA to get the changes needed nationally so that we don’t just displace the problem from the Holderness area but stamp it out everywhere.
Humberside Police does a great job trying to bring the criminals to justice – it has trained specialist rural and wildlife crime officers and they have also provided wildlife crime training for two CPS prosecutors.
But the law, as it stands, can make it hard to bring successful prosecutions. I’ve listened to the concerns raised with me by Humberside police officers working in Holderness and, through the CLA, have met with farmers and landowners affected by this sinister crime. It’s clear more needs to be done.
I’m seeking a meeting this month with Victoria Atkins, Minister for Wildlife Crime at the Home Office, where I will lead a delegation of CLA farmers and landowners to let the Minister know, first hand, how the crime of hare coursing affects their lives. And next month I’m holding an event in Parliament with the CLA to highlight the issue to other MPs and what they can do in their own constituencies to help combat it.
At the meeting with the Minister, the CLA will have the opportunity to raise attention at the highest level for their own suggested Action Plan for hare coursing, which includes specific sentencing guidelines, more resources for the National Wildlife Crime Unit, additional training for 101 call handlers, and giving the police the power to reclaim kennelling costs of dogs from offenders.
A failure to deliver justice
From: D Rimington, Harrogate.
I WAS filled with despair at your recent report of an elderly man convicted of two cases of sexual assault of children being given a suspended sentence. In this case three other charges against him were not proceeded with as he had pleaded guilty to two others.
This means that if he is not convicted of another offence within 18 months he has escaped prison, and punishment.
What message does this send to parents wanting to protect their children? Simply that the legal system is on the side of the criminal and not the victim.
Justice is one thing, the law is another. We have a legal system, but not a justice system.
This is run by people who live in their own world of self-delusion pursuing their own agenda at the expense of the people who are entitled to expect protection for their children.
Train order was flawed
From: Chris Giddings, Halifax.
RATHER than continually lauding himself with praise, Lord Adonis (The Yorkshire Post, September 11) should bear some of the responsibility for the new trains about to enter service on the East Coast main line and problems with signalling.
If such problems were identified 15 years ago on other parts of the rail system, then account should have been taken of them prior to ordering new trains. Surely he should have ensured compatibility with the rail system before he placed an order for the new trains, albeit 10 years ago?
Chris Grayling may not be the most capable Transport Secretary, and certainly does not engender confidence in the public, but even he cannot – and should not – take the rap for the failings of others.
Bearing due north
From: Philip Watt, Willerby.
WITH reference to the two letters that appeared regarding the polar bear statue at Staithes (The Yorkshire Post, September 8). Both ladies are wrong, Captain Cook did indeed navigate in Arctic waters. On his third voyage, and his second aboard HMS Resolution, his covert mission was to try and find the North West Passage from the west.
Whether he encountered any polar bears or not is beside the point, the fact remains it is possible and, therefore, the sculpture is appropriate.
Being a retired Master Mariner myself, I have often speculated as to why Cook never received a knighthood, what greater prize than Australia?Was it the British class system at play, or is my Yorkshire chip on the shoulder showing?
MPs fear for their seats
From: Bob Watson, Baildon.
TO equalise the number of voters in Parliamentary constituencies, in place of the current hotch-potch, where there can be huge differences, and at the same time reducing the number of constituencies to 500, is surely a common sense move (The Yorkshire Post, September 11).
No surprise though to see this being resisted by some MPs who, I suspect, are more interested in protecting their own situation.
Labour MP Rachel Reeves says “it is not in the interest of our constituents to cut the representation they get in Parliament”. Nothing to do with possibly losing your own seat then, Rachel?
Cyclist who mocks the law
From: A Hague, Leeds.
EVERY week I see a Deliveroo cyclist with no lights on. He is earning money while sticking two fingers up at the law.
Can’t our police make an example and give a hefty fine and warning?
What’s the point of a Highway Code if we can’t enforce it?