Letter: Business aid for safer streets

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The Independent Online
Business aid for safer streets

Sir: Jason Bennetto ("The big issue? Safer streets", 8 January) concludes his analysis of "zero tolerance", by suggesting, somewhat dispiritedly, that "it may be a luxury we cannot afford" given the extra costs of cracking down on low-level street offences.

This omits one factor which was employed in New York with some success. There, "business improvement districts" have developed, a small rate being levied on all privately owned commercial properties in a given area (usually one that is visibly declining). The levy is spent on extra street cleaning staff, graffiti removal and street security. Why not King's Cross in London?

RICHARD DE ZOYSA

Faculty of Health and Social Science

South Bank University

London SE16

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