Letter: Why we walk on by

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I could not help having a wry smile when I read of the Home Secretary calling on the public to intervene when they encounter juvenile law-breakers ("Straw condemns `walk on by' society", 18 February).

The main disincentive for this action is the attitude of parents, the police and Crown Prosecution Service in the event that the children respond with violence, or, even worse, make false accusations of inappropriate behaviour against you. It is also not uncommon for good citizens to be assaulted by the parents of young vandals should they have the temerity to point out their behaviour.

I would not consider taking action unless there were a host of reliable witnesses about, and I felt I could safely defend myself should the need arise.

D M WILLIAMS

Southend-on-Sea, Essex

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