Letter: Criminal attitude to theft

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The Independent Online
AS A serving police officer I read the article by David Hare, 'Your fears are exaggerated' (10 October), with interest and growing incredulity.

Mary Tuck, then head of research at the Home Office, was extensively quoted. It is my belief that opinions such as hers, especially when they are held in high regard by political and civil service figures, are part of the reason why the criminal justice system in this country is in such a mess.

Ms Tuck states that most burglaries are of under pounds 100: 'So much crime is just trivial property theft'. Does she not realise that the victims of these 'trivial' thefts are poor people to whom pounds 100 represents the difference between eating that week or not? Being the statistics expert that she is, Ms Tuck must know that these victims cannot afford insurance as they are in areas classified as uninsurable by insurance companies as the crime rate is so high.

Ms Tuck, who goes on to describe the police as 'poor dears' and 'bored' and 'sitting round waiting for something to happen', is welcome to write to me enclosing full details of the police stations she has visited and the police officers she has worked with. This would enable me and all my friends to apply for a transfer there, then we could, no doubt, spend all our spare time studying statistics.

I haven't read such a patronising article about the police since the late 1970s.


Bolton, Lancashire