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Shameful approach to young people
I HAVE written previously about the likelihood of very low turnouts at the forthcoming Police And Crime Commissioner elections on November 15.
It appears that the Government has woken up to the same prospect by injecting cash into an advertising campaign.
However, these show frightening images of wanton violence and destruction. We see young people dealing drugs, committing burglary and smashing bus stops.
It is sadly an advert that propagates a view that the young are the major problem in our society and must be feared.
It is shameful that rather than a balanced approach which includes fraud, human trafficking, terrorism, domestic abuse and corporate crime, we are presented with a stereotypical perception that denigrates our youth. The Howard League for Penal Reform is running a campaign to ‘‘Keep it Clean’’ – “to run a clean campaign which avoids stereotyping or using negative language about young people” as well as a pledge to consult young people when developing policy. Ruth Potter (Labour) has signed the pledge, Julia Mulligan (Conservative) has not.
Many young people in the criminal justice system are the most vulnerable. Speaking to and talking to them is likely to present answers to what works rather than imposing top-down solutions. Our young feel increasingly disenfranchised from our political system – this message hardly encourages them to exercise their vote.
Richard Bridge, Holgate Road, York.
•IN HIS letter of October 17, P Richardson refers to the on-going reductions in the number of police officers arising from cost-saving measures. However, he does not consider the benefits of this: 1. The large savings being made will enable the grossly overpaid amateur commissioner to earn a substantial salary and have his/her election expenses paid without adding to the costs of the police service.
2. By having fewer staff to supervise, the appointed commissioner will have a much less onerous task. What kind of condition our police service will be in after a year or more of supervision by an untrained amateur, we will have to wait and see.
Wilf Arnott, Hobmoor Terrace, York.
• LAST Saturday, I went into Haxby to have words with the Conservative contestant for the commissioner’s job. But, after looking for a needle in a haystack, I decided to give it a miss.
However, reading the article in The Press regarding Newby Wiske Hall and her idea of saving £800,000, it would suggest a shot in the foot.
Just think, to build a new modern police headquarters at a cost of £25 million to £30 million, then when you add to this sum the running costs, the costings far outstrip the £800,000.
We have lost 300 frontline police with prospect of 130 further cutbacks by 2015.
But no one is saying anything about the reserves of £60 million plus, or the two budgets passed by this authority for 2012-13.
P Richardson, Haxby, York.