Ev­ery week BAR­BARA FISHER looks at is­sues that af­fect us all – the is­sues that get you talk­ing. You can join in by email­ing bmail­bar­bara@po­lice sta­tion

Ruislip & Eastcote & Northwood Gazette - - Your Say -

IT WAS in­ter­est­ing to see Di­ana Lam­plugh in the news again,

She died in 2011 but her name lives on be­cause of her trust set up 20 years ago to tackle the prob­lem of per­sonal safety, par­tic­u­larly for women.

The Suzy Lam­plugh Trust was named af­ter her es­tate agent daugh­ter who dis­ap­peared in 1986 af­ter a prop­erty view­ing in Ful­ham. It felt like a TV drama when it was an­nounced that he had booked his ap­point­ment un­der the name of Mr Kip­per, but this wasn’t a soap opera. Suzy, 25, was never seen again.

Di­ana toured the coun­try with her hus­band Paul to talk to chil­dren in schools about keep­ing them­selves safe. She cam­paigned for bet­ter street light­ing and handed out rape alarms to fresh­ers at univer­sity.

I once in­ter­viewed her and was im­pressed by her dig­nity and com­mit­ment to sav­ing oth­ers from her daugh­ter’s fate by early ed­u­ca­tion.

At that time she was also cam­paign­ing to reg­u­late mini-cabs. The prime sus­pect for Suzy’s dis­ap­pear­ance and prob­a­ble mur­der re­mains John Can­nan, a for­mer car sales­man, who was jailed for life in July 1989 for mur­der and sex­ual of­fences. His pre­ferred tar­gets were pro­fes­sional women.

This week it was re­ported that a gar­den in Sut­ton Cold­field, pre­vi­ously owned by his mother, is be­ing dug up and a garage dis­man­tled.

I do hope this case can be re­solved but, sadly, any new leads will not be fol­lowed by her fa­ther, who died this year.

Can I ap­peal to po­lice to stop an­nounc­ing which crimes they in­tend to ig­nore in fu­ture be­cause of their lim­ited re­sources?

We were told some forces were no longer chas­ing petrol thieves while oth­ers were turn­ing a blind eye to mi­nor bur­glar­ies. Now we hear they may re­fo­cus on core polic­ing, but not fol­low up on things like hate crime.

It’s like say­ing to a class of chil­dren, be­cause we are un­der­staffed, in fu­ture we will not pun­ish any­one who sticks a fel­low pupil’s head down the toi­let. All other crimes will still be in­ves­ti­gated. Hope­fully.

So … if we all de­cided to rob our neigh­bours’ houses while they were on hol­i­day and zoom away from petrol sta­tions without pay­ing, what would it be called? A state of emer­gency? An­ar­chy? Cer­tainly the op­po­site of law and or­der, the rea­son we es­tab­lished a po­lice force in the first place.

They need to pri­ori­tise, but not pub­li­cise what’s dropped off the list.

The fear of pun­ish­ment is still a de­ter­rent for many.

Of­fi­cers are trained and paid to keep our com­mu­ni­ties safe and to pur­sue the per­pe­tra­tors of crime. Not treat the job like a pick and mix counter.

And while we’re at it.

Own up. Who stole


Di­ana Lam­plugh

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