Po­lice should be tack­ling crime from the low­est lev­els up­wards

The Sunday Telegraph - - Letters to the editor -

SIR – Am­ber Rudd, the Home Sec­re­tary (Com­ment, April 8), in­sists that po­lice num­bers are suf­fi­cient to deal with the rise in se­ri­ous crime fig­ures; yet last year it emerged that po­lice would no longer pur­sue shoplift­ing and other crimes where the goods in­volved were worth less than £200.

Rudy Gi­u­liani, the mayor of New York be­tween 1994 and 2001, in­sti­gated a pol­icy of zero-tol­er­ance of even the small­est crimes, such as fare-dodg­ing and graf­fiti. This ag­gres­sive en­force­ment pol­icy re­sulted in a drop in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity across the board.

It is clear that the nor­mal­is­ing of petty crime in Bri­tain, ap­par­ently with po­lice ap­proval, is send­ing the wrong mes­sage to those with crim­i­nal in­tent, and that a more ro­bust polic­ing strat­egy would pay div­i­dends. The cost of polic­ing is mea­sur­able; the cost to so­ci­ety of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity in its var­i­ous forms is in­cal­cu­la­ble. Max In­gram

Cénac-et- Saint-Julien, Dor­dogne, France SIR – Is Am­ber Rudd in­ter­ested in crimes other than “vi­o­lent” ones?

In the last year we have been bur­gled once; our home is reg­u­larly cased; and we have wo­ken to the ter­ri­fy­ing sound of some­one try­ing to kick in our front door. The re­sponse? Two lo­cal po­lice sta­tions are clos­ing and the po­lice stop what­ever pa­trols they do at half-past mid­night.

Oh – but they do have a Twit­ter ac­count. Mar­cus Lawrence

Uxbridge, Mid­dle­sex

SIR – Any­one ex­pect­ing Am­ber Rudd’s Se­ri­ous Vi­o­lence Strat­egy to solve the crime epi­demic will be dis­ap­pointed.

She might be right that there are enough po­lice officers, but they are too busy in­ves­ti­gat­ing his­toric sex of­fences and “hate crimes” on so­cial me­dia, and are not on the streets, where the pub­lic wants to see them.

Ms Rudd ap­pears to be out of her depth when it comes to the prob­lem of fam­ily break­down, which suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments have failed to take se­ri­ously. But, worse, de­spite recog­nis­ing that drugs are “a key driver of the vi­o­lence harm­ing our com­mu­ni­ties”, any se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion of le­gal­is­ing and reg­u­lat­ing the mar­ket is sadly lack­ing.

Il­le­gal drug use costs the tax­payer £11 bil­lion a year, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Crime Agency, and many crimes are linked to drugs; yet the same failed pol­icy con­tin­ues. Un­til our lead­ers try some­thing new, there will be many more par­ents who, in the words of the Home Sec­re­tary, will have to “bury their child”. Tim Coles

Carl­ton, Bed­ford­shire

SIR – Street vi­o­lence is ab­hor­rent and there are many pos­si­ble causes.

How­ever, given that so much of our vis­ual en­ter­tain­ment is based on vi­o­lence – guns, knives, fights, car crashes, ex­plo­sions – per­haps we should ask if there is link be­tween these two as­pects of our so­ci­ety. Bar­bara Davy

Ilk­ley, West York­shire

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