Letter: Zero tolerance

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The question posed in your leading article regarding priorities when it comes to policing offensive behaviour such as dropping litter is a valid one. The example you cite of those "selling small amounts of cannabis in pubs" will strike a cord with many police officers. Whilst the success of the New York policy is widely acknowledged the requirement for it to include extra police officers should not be ignored.

A zero-tolerance programme needs the support of local authorities. Unrepaired damage attracts more damage, as do unremoved graffiti. It needs the support and commitment of the community, schools and parents. Rules concerning social behaviour must be learnt before they can be applied.


Detective Inspector, Hampshire Constabulary