Letter: Police can and should do more than catch criminals

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was dismayed to read (19 January) John Alderson's remark that, in the 1984/85 miners' strike, 'they (the police) are, in the final analysis, government mercenaries to a man or woman'. It was an astonishing statement to make in its breadth and implication.

Many police officers were deeply uneasy about the position in which they found themselves in 1984/85. However, their resolve was stiffened by two things. First, the strike called by Arthur Scargill was unlawful; and, second, they soon saw the brutal intimidation of men of Mr Scargill's own union who wanted to go to their lawful place of work.

I find it incredible that a former chief constable has so little understanding of and sympathy for the police of this country that he can insult their intelligence and devotion to the rule of law, not to any government.

Yours faithfully,

J. CAMERON

Neath, South Wales

20 January

The writer is a former inspector in the South Wales Constabulary.

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