Put the ‘force’ back into our once proud police

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I am interested in the statement on Page 14 of last week’s Journal: “Strike by police staff ‘had no impact on service.’”

Then take the article about a young mum and her new-born daughter being almost run over by a car, and a grandfather lying in the middle of the road as the result of an alleged assault by a driver seemingly out of control of his senses.

The other stories are the letter on Page 6 regarding feral youths and the report on Page 11 about a small boy whose bike had been stolen. As reported, for the police to attend a scene two and a half hours after a violent attack upon a disabled person is unacceptable.

With regard the feral youths letter, I find it equally unacceptable for the police to apparently hold the view that if there is no violence involved in a series of incidents, it is only of passing interest to them.

From ‘Dismayed’s’ letter and similar letters in previous Journals, those living in the affected areas are not only scared out of their wits, but frustrated by their inability to take positive action that will not land them in trouble. Surely to God the police must know that physical violence is not the sole reason for fear. The continuous invasion of one’s property by yobs, louts, ferals or whatever, and the possibility of physical violence stemming therefrom also induces fear, a state of mind the police should seek to prevent.

Turning now to the story of the child’s bike: is it too much to ask that if a police officer dealing with a case is away on holiday and a victim seeks information about something of concern to him/her, then could not some other police person provide the information sought?

It is small wonder that a strike by some police staff had no impact upon service for the service seems already to be at a low level.

Now, I have great respect for the police service and its officers. It depresses me therefore to arrive at a conclusion wherein an element of giving up the ghost seems to be invading the police psyche.

If such is a fact then I believe it to be only a matter of time before communities and neighbourhoods form their own self-protection groups, and this is likely to breed vigilantes and even greater violence, creating an even worse situation than currently exists.

What is likely to exacerbate matters is that if such groups are formed, it is they that will be subject to police action and not those causing the problem.

It is high time for our politicians to take a long hard look at some of the ridiculous laws governing who can do what to whom, and for the police to be able to be more assertive when dealing with the day-to-day things that give normal folk unneccessary fear.

Peter Gibson

Gonerby Hill Foot