Readers' letters - January 16
They come to this junction with their indicators on to turn right.
The Preston police are not doing enough to stop this.
They told me that they don’t have enough police officers to police this issue!
The problem is made worse as these drivers can’t see oncoming traffic from the right due to cars parking on Blackpool Road, parked up to the fire station.
This practice also limits Blackpool Road to a single lane.
The situation is made a lot worse when motorists want to get to the petrol station or the coffee house.
Who is going to get something done about this?
Will it be when there is a serious accident?
Children and old people cross Romford Road on a daily basis.
What do other readers think?
Name and address supplied
Times have changed
It is nice to hear from my old sparring partner, Jim Oldcorn, again (Letters, January 10) with his reminiscing about his old days in the force and the need for certain skills which he thinks are required today in the modern police force and thus there’s no need for it to be a degree entry profession. His views are rather quaint but, today, are outdated.
No doubt he will reminisce about Ford Anglia Panda Cars trying to chase down criminals in their Jags and even Ford Zodiacs (yes, some hope!) until some bright spark had a flash of inspiration to actually quite literally catch up with the criminals by the police themselves buying similar high-powered cars. I remember watching Heartbeat and also Z Cars, the latter indeed being Z Cars in the form of Zodiacs belting round the patch that was really Kirkby. That practice has now continued with the police equipped with all manner of powerful cars to catch the baddies.
Just one moan here about the modern police cars. Why do you have to have more lights on them than displayed at Blackpool Illuminations? At, let’s say, £20 a pop for each light, you have quite a few hundred quids worth on each and every vehicle. Times that by how many vehicles one has and that is reaching well into the hundreds of thousands per force. Yet you say you are short of money!
But the baddies continue to try to be one step ahead of the police to outwit them and so not get caught.
Thus. while Jim’s nostalgic suggestions are interesting to read, regrettably the criminals have moved on from those old times and the modern police officer needs equipping with much more than that suggested by retired inspector Jim.
In order to be one step ahead, one has to understand how the criminal mind works, and thus both sociology and psychology have to be brought into the equation and this is best done in a proper academic setting rather than the odd lecture by, say, an inspector who has been on a brief course and is now lecturing to a first year intake at the police college.
It is also the case that even low ranked officers are now given the task of solving petty crime where, yes, some of your old skills may play a part, but it may also require other skills such as a bit of forensic science along with the knowledge and wit to know when to call in the cavalry and not to plant one’s size 11s all over a crime scene.
And I am not talking here about some urchins scrumping a few apples, but an officer who may have to deal with, for example, a complicated case of domestic abuse.
Then there is the question of modern technology with all manner of gadgets available to assist the police in the execution of their duties such as ANPRs, Bluetooth connected devices, PNC – the list is ever growing. Thus an increasing, er, degree of knowledge is needed in relation to computer literacy, going way beyond the ability to just be able to read and write. And I haven’t even touched on the subject of cyber crime yet, nor even the increasing need for officers to be fit enough to carry around their increasingly heavier belts and body protection, but that is another topic altogether.
Other worthy professions such as nursing and teaching are now largely degree level and have been for quite some time. Many teacher training colleges taught to degree level as far back as the 1960s.
Nursing again, with all the new technologies being used today, requires nurses to be taught to degree level. Such knowledge can only be properly taught in an academic setting and to a high level.
Thus, while it is nice to reminisce, criminals are not necessarily OLD and are certainly not LAGS. If the police are not to LAG behind, they need to be equipped fully to carry out their duties and thus this will require them being of sufficient intelligence and be taught to a degree level of knowledge and skill to cope in the real, modern world rather than the OLD way of doing things.
Sadly that includes many officers no longer being on the beat, that task being left largely to PCSOs and many of these have degrees already!
However, I will recommend one feature required of all good police officers (shame on you, Jim, for not mentioning this!): an officer’s nose!
Walter and the scout troop
I understand that 2017 marks the bi-centenary of Lune Street Methodist Church in Preston and so I thought the above Looking Back photograph might be of some interest.
The year is 1923 and the framed photograph was presented to my grandfather, the Rev Walter Platt, by the 24th Preston, Lune Street Wesleyan Scout Troop.
I believe Rev Walter was at Lune Street for nine years, which was unusual in those days when ministers were often moved on after three or four years.
My own father, also Walter, and then aged 14, is sitting on his father’s left. He became a pharmacist and had a chemist’s shop in Eldon Street for 40 years.
It is still possible that there will be others who can recognise their own father on this photo which was taken by the well known Preston photographer Arthur Winter.