Police should be tackling crime from the lowest levels upwards
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
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
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