Letter: The long list of British informers

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The Independent Online
Sir: With reference to Sara Maitland's article on benefit fraud ("Beat-a-Cheat is not the village bobby", 7 August), she obviously has no experience of living on a council estate, particularly in a small village, when she implies that anonymous help-lines are unjustified.

Until recently my parents lived opposite a man who had illegally acquired a car which had been specially adapted for a handicapped person, complete with a wheelchair lift. Much as they, and most of the other neighbours, would have liked to have brought this to the attention of the appropriate authorities, and had the car reassigned to a genuine case, they were too afraid of retaliation to do so.

In a more serious vein, when my mother called the police about some young children (all under 10 years old) sniffing glue near their back garden, they had milk bottles thrown at them and the back fence set on fire, a frightening experience for anyone, particularly horrible for someone in their late seventies.

GERALDINE BLAKE

London W13

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