Letter: Police pay plea

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Were it not for the myriad revelations over the past two years of the dishonesty, criminality, racism, sexism, corruption, greed, arrogance and in many cases contempt for the legal system which seems to be inherent in the culture of many police forces throughout the UK, Paul Condon's claim that low police pay is to blame for corruption would be simply laughable (report, 29 October).

As it is, it stands as an insult to every citizen of the UK and is a further graphic illustration of how out of touch the force is with the values of the society it exists to protect.

There is no doubt that police officers at all but the most senior levels are underpaid. There is no doubt that the job they are required to perform is complex, sensitive, sometimes dangerous and perhaps often distasteful and harrowing. To use this as an excuse for corruption and abuse of the law is repugnant.

Most tragically, this ridiculous statement mostly harms the interests of the thousands of honest, committed and hard-working police officers Paul Condon seeks to defend.

To continue to deny the scale, gravity and fundamental nature of the problem is to push any solution further out of reach, and to deny the police force the enthusiastic and unequivocal support of all sections of the community that it rightly deserves.

PAUL JARVIS

London SE1

Sir: The Metropolitan Police Commissioner says poor police pay is an inducement to corruption.

Recently I was speaking to an ambitious young man who said he was about to give up his present occupation to join the police, with attractive starting pay, good prospects - and a handsome retirement pension at the age of 50!

VINCENT VERE

Richmond, Surrey

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