AS a member of the new community policing team I am disappointed that Jeremy Banyard,has chosen to write us off within days of our launch (Letters, April 10).

Mr Banyard has apparently misread or misunderstood Ch Insp Harding's comments so let me restate them: "Many of the issues we aim to tackle are not solely problems for the police; other agencies and organisations have a role to play".

Examples include drug addicts whose addiction is funded by crime - they are prosecuted for the offences. But without treatment for their addiction there is every likelihood they will re-offend. Or youths who, for many reasons including boredom or absence of parental responsibility, become involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.

If, as Mr Banyard suggests, crime is purely a police matter and does not involve other agencies, the situation will never improve. North Yorkshire Police do not operate drug treatment programmes, we do not provide youth facilities, we do not hold parenting classes nor many of the other social interventions which can impact on the reasons why people commit crime or engage in anti-social behaviour.

But there are organisations that do offer these services. One of the primary roles of the new ward managers will be to work with residents and any agencies, or organisations, who can help address problems of crime and disorder.

We do not and will never have enough "bobbies on the beat" to deal with every situation within a few minutes, as Mr Banyard demands. Our aim is to prevent those situations from arising in the first place or to find a long-term solution where they re-occur.

Hopefully, York residents will give us a chance to make this initiative work rather than dismissing it out of hand.

Sgt Mike Stubbs,

York community policing team,

Clifford Street police station,

Lower Friargate,


Updated: 10:14 Wednesday, April 16, 2003