Letter : Rise in crime is not just in the mind

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The Independent Online
Sir: How passionately I agree with Polly Toynbee that most women (particularly elderly ones) have a grossly exaggerated idea of how dangerous it is to walk the streets of London after dark.

At 82 years old, I walk exactly where I like at any hour of the night. I travel home without a qualm on the late-night tubes. I have never suffered the smallest injury.

However, I would like to offer your more timorous readers a small piece of advice. If you find yourself in a lonely street late at night, and you feel yourself threatened by a gang of young men, don't run away. Walk briskly towards them, with a big smile on your face, and ask them the way to somewhere. It works like a dream. Very often, the whole lot will escort you to your tube station, chatting all the way.

CELIA FREMLIN

London NW3

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