Letter: A police force suffering from frustration cannot solve society's problems

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The Independent Online
Sir: The continuing articles and letters on alleged police inefficiency fail to highlight the basic truth that lies behind all of the confusing statistics.

The crime rate, reported and not reported, is a reflection of society's moral climate and its growing concern with material values. The clear-up rate is not a measure of police efficiency, rather one of the public's willingness to challenge wrongdoers, give information and give evidence in court. The lack of public support for the criminal justice system is not and must not be construed as a lack of support for the police service.

I have the pleasure to command more than over 200 police officers who work very hard to prevent offences and arrest offenders. They often express frustration at the bureaucracy of the system and its failure to deter persistent offenders. Still, they battle on, facing constant threats of physical or media attack.

Despite likely organisational upheaval, the public can be reassured that it can continue to rely on one of this country's finest institutions - the constable on the beat.

Yours faithfully,

W. J. POULTER

Superintendent

Metropolitan Police Service

Ilford, Essex

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