'Problems with crime and punishment'

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Readers' letters: I begin to wonder whether we shall ever get a police service that will be efficient and fair to all the populace.

In some areas, murder has become commonplace and crime actually does pay for two very good reasons.

First of all, the police have been cut so far that they no longer bother to even try to detect some crimes and, in some cases, do not even record some minor crimes.

Secondly, justice has become so limited that courts are obliged to dole out suspended sentences or community orders.

Should an offender be sent to prison, it will be served in a cushy jail or one where the inmates rule.

Meanwhile, I believe that much of the violence in under 10s is caused by the continuous programmes and games in which violence is the core.

Young children have difficulty in discerning true actions from fictional characters they see on TV, who fight and use weapons to injure others.

Children, being children, will always attempt to copy what they see to be exciting.

In my youth, it was Cowboys and Indians but all the fighting was mimed as we well knew that, if we hurt someone, we ourselves would be punished.

Peter Hyde

via email

brexit

Europe didn’t let us down

Re: Europe failed to help us.

I refer to Mr Hewitt’s reply to my recent posting in which he expresses most graphically his disappointment with our European partners for not giving military support when the UK was liberating the Falklands (LP Letters, October 11).

I would just like to point out that, according to the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) Article 5, active military assistance is limited to countries bordering the North Atlantic.

It was a fact known to Mrs Thatcher PM, hence she never requested military intervention from our European partners.

However, according to the New York Times, dated April 8, 1982, European countries who did supply arms to Argentina, imposed an immediate arms embargo.

Among others, the French stopped completion of the formidable Super Entendard jet fighter order and the German government cancelled the delivery of four frigates, two submarines and six corvettes …

The French also offered tactical information on how to counter the Exocet threat.

Also, on April 6, Britain requested a complete trade embargo on Argentina by the EEC, which was speedily implemented by April 10 – unprecedented in its scope and the rapidity of the decision.

In all fairness, that, and intense diplomatic pressure upon Argentina, is all they could do to help the British regain their Falklands territory. Hence, to claim that they did nothing is an untruth and, I fear, only intended to seed distrust in the EU in order to advance Brexit.

The EU’s suggestion for closer military co-operation, i.e. to form a European Defence Force, was/is constantly vetoed by Britain.

It would be an enormous benefit to all concerned with the security of the European Union, and its overseas territories, to have a European rapid reaction force at the ready.

JOH Voges

via email

energy

Late release of fracking data

The shale gas saga is a litany of reports not released until after a key decision had been made – the infamous DEFRA report, more recently an air quality report that did not see the light of day for three years and the results of Cuadrilla’s 3D seismic survey.

These have been made public some nine months after the expected release date. This is, of course, too late to be reviewed by the wider scientific community, as all fracking permissions have now been given.

A seismic survey indicates the type, thickness and depths of rock layers below the surface and I have no doubt that interpreting these results is a specialist skill, but it is one which Cuadrilla appears to lack.

The reason I say this is demonstrated by their explanatory diagrams. From the LCC planning application right up to the first draft of the HF Plan in October 2017, their graphic shows the vertical well passing through a layer of millstone grit, approximately 1,000ft thick, but when they actually drilled, they did not find any millstone grit This is shown in the amended graphic in the final HF Plan.

If the data had been released as expected in January 2018, scientists would have had time to assess these interpretations and raise any concerns. When the BGS positioned their monitoring stations in 2015, they had not seen the survey results and the wells had not been drilled, so they were effectively working ‘blind’. Were the monitoring stations where they needed to be?

T Froud, Lytham