Letter: The death of James Bulger; imprisonment of young offenders; causes of criminality

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The Independent Online
Sir: In your leading article 'A child's murder' (16 February), in which you refer to the awful murder of young James Bulger, you conclude:

At least one good thing may come out of the grim work now being done by Merseyside Police: people are likely to be less hesitant when they see a child wandering alone.

The intimation that people are going to take hold of a child's hand and take him or her off to look for a policeman is naive to say the least. I am 50 years old, a civil servant, and I like to think that I am respected within my community, but one thing I wouldn't be over-anxious to do in a crowded shopping centre would be to grasp hold of a 'lost child' with the intention of going anywhere. Three days ago, well that's a different matter.

Yours sincerely,

T. M. DODD

Northallerton, North Yorkshire

16 February

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