Letter: Blame for the growth in crime

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The Independent Online
Sir: I really must protest at the article by Sir John Wheeler (9 February) putting all the blame for the increase in crime on the police service. The role of the police is to prevent and detect crime. When crime is detected, the police service gathers evidence which it then puts before the courts. How do you think police officers feel when prolific burglars - often juvenile - get bail, only to be caught in the act again before their case gets to court?

In my opinion there are two culprits - the Government and the judiciary. First, the Government because it knows full well that the penal system in this country is pathetic but there are no votes in improving it. Second (and partly because their hands are tied by the Government), magistrates and judges are handing out inadequate punishment - especially to 15-year-old rapists.

There is never a simple solution to a complex problem. Do not blame the police for the crime rate, blame the criminal justice system.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID B. ANSON

Penwortham, Lancashire

10 February

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