THIS was the sight that greeted me when I drove home along a beautiful country road. The rubbish had been dumped in front of a gate leading to a farmer’s field. When I reported it to the council, I was told that lots of people can’t be bothered to book a slot at the local tip to dispose of their rubbish. If they can take the trouble to load a van and drive to a country lane, why not take it to the tip? Disgusting!
KATE LYON, Coventry.
MY HUSBAND and I are litter-pickers. We used to volunteer at the local car scheme taking people to hospital and shopping, but this has had to stop due to the pandemic. Walking to the shop to buy our daily newspaper, we noticed how untidy the streets were getting. So, we bought a couple of litter sticks and every day go out picking rubbish.
There are several bins on our route where we can deposit litter, but only two for recyclables. When the children are at school, we come home with at least three bags of cans and bottles. I think our dustmen must wonder how we manage to drink so much! We cover 12 roads in a two-mile radius of our home. Many people have thanked us for litter-picking and we have even been given two boxes of chocolates from grateful strangers.
We enjoy the walks and are happy to help the community.
YVONNE DOWSON, Benfleet, Essex.
I AM not in any way defending fly-tipping, but it gets worse every time the council makes it harder to dispose of rubbish. The first thing councils did in the initial lockdown was to close their tips and recycling centres, so what were people expected to do with their waste? Now to dispose of your rubbish you have to go online to book a slot and specify what you need to dispose of. The answer to fly-tipping is to get the council to take all waste.
MICHAEL ALBIN, Burnley, Lancs.
NO WONDER people are fly-tipping. My local refuse tip has been closed for a year because of Covid. Do we really socialise when getting rid of our rubbish? People are in and out of their cars as quickly as possible. We are keeping busy by gardening and spring cleaning, so need to get rid of green waste and unwanted items. Come on, councils, the best way to prevent fly-tipping is to re-open the tips.
GAIL SIDDON, Blaby, Leics.
Scandal of police closures
THANKS to the Mail for revealing that half of police stations have been closed in just ten years.
This is just the latest in the closures, or removals, that started with the sale of school playing fields and has been followed by post offices, ATMs and bank branches.
The winners are property developers and the losers are the public, from children to the elderly.
Most people are not clamouring for all aspects of life to be moved online and would rather deal with another person face-to-face. The pandemic has played into the hands of those who want to close everything.
ALLAN NIBLETT, London SW11.
MANY police stations have been closed because they are old and unsuitable. My local police station has relocated to an industrial unit.
That is fine, provided the police have a presence to interact with the public. Generally they do not.
As a former Met Police officer, I believe the real issue is the lack of effectiveness of the police, part of which is the fault of the criminal justice system.
Despite record numbers in prison and tough talk by the authorities, criminals neither respect, nor are scared of, the law.
With fewer than one in five burglaries being solved, it appears the police are simply there to provide crime numbers for insurance claims.
CHRIS PARKER, Steeple Claydon, Bucks.
Bring back the Tardis!
THE Mail’s report about the number of police stations that have closed in the past ten years prompts me to ask why they can’t be replaced by modern police boxes.
Officers could travel from their homes to a box at the centre of their beat rather than waste time by reporting first to HQ. They could be briefed via Zoom and the boxes could contain kitchen and toilet facilities.
I formally proposed this idea to Scotland Yard some years ago, but it was rejected as too expensive.
JOHN KENNY, Acle, Norfolk.
EVERY police station I served at during my 30 years in the Met has been closed. I feel as if I never existed.
MICHAEL BARNBROOK, Ramsgate, Kent.
Keep streets safe
I AM a retired senior officer and know that the downgrading of the police is nothing new.
In the 1980s, beat officers were moved to firearms squads and force support units, reducing the number in daily contact with the public, obtaining information and keeping the streets safe. We became reactive, rather than proactive.
The same thing has happened with the demise of the village bobby. Cost- cutting has led to the closure of stations and the retreat of the police from the streets. Policing is about contact and feedback with the public, not blaring sirens.
When I was a young detective, our detection rate on house burglaries was 66 per cent and there was no paid overtime because the job was seen as vocational.
TERRIE E. GIBBONS, Bradfield, Essex.
HILLINGDON Council offered to pay millions to keep Uxbridge police station open, but this was rejected.
MAUREEN KEATING, Eastcote, Middlesex.
Even thinner blue line
MY LOCAL Police and Crime Commissioner has an estate plan that seems to involve shutting down town centre police stations and selling the buildings for development.
The replacement police ‘centre’ is stuck on a trading estate that’s not on a bus route and was not signposted for a year. The police are moving farther away from the people they are supposed to serve.
DAVID WHITE, Basingstoke, Hants.
I COMMEND the Mail for its report highlighting the closure of half of all public inquiry counters at police stations and, in many cases, the closure of the entire station.
A physical police presence in each area provides reassurance to the public and acts as a deterrent.
Not everyone is able to report a crime online. There are worrying stories about fraud victims being told to use a website as opposed to making a complaint in person.
It is highly unlikely that someone who finds lost property will take the trouble to travel a long distance to hand it in. The promised police offices at supermarkets have largely failed to materialise.
The Victorians, who built many of our imposing public buildings, realised the value of community spirit and of police officers who knew the areas they patrolled, thus stopping many crimes from being committed in the first place.
Police stations must be re-opened, by compulsory purchase if necessary.
Politicians need to realise constituents do not enjoy the well-guarded, secure environment of Parliament
KEELEY-JASMINE CAVENDISH, London SE21.
WE DON’T just want more police officers on the beat, but the reopening of all closed police stations. These vital community hubs are an essential part of British life.
W. FORROW, Dawlish, Devon.
We owe it to victims
I WAS shocked to discover that four local police stations are shut.
Drug dealers are able to do their business in the streets without fear of arrest. What about the victims of domestic abuse — where can they run to escape their abuser? We owe it to crime victims to open a police station in every town. One in every shopping centre would be a start.
SUE SAXON, Rossendale, Lancs.
MY HUSBAND was a police officer, so if a crime has been committed, I turn to the police.
In a fluster, I left cash in a supermarket ATM. The shop manager watched the CCTV footage, gave me details of who had taken the money and advised me to go to the police.
At the police station, I spoke to an officer who told me it was a civil matter and not an issue for the police to investigate. Since when has theft been a civil matter?
I wrote a letter of complaint to the chief constable and the next day, a policewoman came to my door and gave me my money back.
On another occasion, I returned home to discover there had been an attempt to jemmy my patio doors.
I called the police and was given a reference number for my insurance company.
I was told an officer would be along shortly to investigate. Do you think they will be here any time soon?
JOY JACKSON, Nottingham.
IT’S not just police stations that are being closed. I am a retired magistrates’ clerk and of the ten courts that were operating in my area in the late 1960s, only two are left.
Two court buildings built in the 1970s and 1980s have been demolished.
The Government is said to be considering opening temporary Nightingale courts to tackle the impact of coronavirus on the justice system. I wonder where they will get all the court clerks and Crown Prosecutors.
RAYMOND J. MALYON, Eastbourne, E. Sussex.