LETTER:Crime ratios now

From Mr E. Paull

Sir: Polly Toynbee, in another of her "away with moral panic" articles, recalls similar "panics" over crime in yesteryear ("Pollyanna vs the pessimists", 14 June).

She mentions the "hooligan gangs" in the late Nineties of the last century, and the Teddy boys of the Fifties in this century. At the time of the "hooligan gangs", the ratio of crimes to population was one to 350. In the Fifties it was one to 100. Now it is, approximately, one to 10.

Incidentally, I was living on the southside of Clapham Common when a Teddy boy killed a youth just across the Common. That murder caused nationwide concern; now it would be just another street killing.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW16

14 June