Letter: Laws to be ignored

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The Independent Online
Sir: Professor Greenfield, writing about pavement cyclists' lack of bells (Letters, 30 March) should have added 'and lights at night'.

His letter touches on a deeper malaise: that police are now the people who determine what the law of the land shall be. Parliament may dispose the letter of the law, but the careless cyclist knows that no police - as a matter of policy - will prosecute. The same is true for the owners of cars with loud discotheques: though they are a public nuisance, and legislation exists, I recall no prosecutions.

The tradition of a parliamentary democracy is that police enforce the laws as they stand; but we have reached a parlous state when laws provide an a la carte menu from which chief constables may select. In Sussex, police are severe on speeding and drink-driving but ignore drivers who disobey 'no entry' signs and local government traffic schemes. Such an attitude encourages a habit of lawlessness, from little things to large ones.

Yours faithfully,

M. B. WILKINSON

Brighton

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