Having written many letters about litter and the lack of police presence in some of the surrounding towns that make up the Wakefield district, it was heartening to read recently, under the headline ‘Police target litter louts and vandals’, that at least one ranking police officer, Insp Dick Jones, is pressing to do something about it.
The inspector’s comment, that you cannot beat eyes and ears, gave one food for thought. How does a policeman doing his rounds in a van or car listen to the comments on the street, or see down byways or alleyways?
Surely, if PCSOs are expected to do it in the case of littering and vandalism, why can’t the bobby in his imposing helmet do the same for more aggravating crimes?
Is what the inspector refers to the possible start of something that the Home Office, and indeed the general public, have been requesting for a number of years without results?
Could a larger number of foot patrols mean fewer expensive motor vehicles, consequently less expensive fuel and maintenance? Would the money saved pay the wages for more policemen and supply them with mobile phones, camera and tape recorders, thus saving time writing notes and less paperwork?
Could the empty shops in most small towns be used as satellite police stations, bringing the policeman closer to the general public and within walking distance, plus giving more confidence?
James Anthony Bulmer