LETTER : Public sector trust

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From Mr P. J. Medwell

Sir: Your article "Fraud in Whitehall soars" (17 February), about the astonishing rise in public sector fraud, reminded me of an experience of my own in early 1963.

I had arrived back in this country after a year spent working in the Indian Ocean. Wishing to draw sufficient funds to travel home to Norfolk, I called into a bank near Liverpool Street in London. After I had presented my cheque, the cashier went away to make a phone call to my home branch. When he returned, I gave him my passport for identification. "Why didn't you tell me that you were an established civil servant?" he said. "There would have been no need for the phone call."

Such delightful trust would be unthinkable today. What has happened during the past 30 years?

Yours sincerely,


Broadstairs, Kent