No surprise curfews don’t work

IT comes as no surprise to me that half of criminals in Wigan who are ordered to wear an electronic tag go on to reoffend or fail to adhere to the stipulations handed out to them on their release.

Perhaps if criminals were given tougher and more meaningful sentences in the first place and not given an early release, the reoffending rate would fall accordingly.

I am particularly concerned that some of these offenders are breaking the rules of their curfew not once or twice but in excess of five times before being ordered back into prison.

This inconsistency is giving offenders an excuse to go out and reoffend in the first place.

With some criminals able to successfully detach their electronic tag at times of curfew I would not be at all surprised if these reoffending rates were actually far higher than we are actually being told.

Paul Nuttall


miners’ strikes

Thatcher not to blame

A number of town councils refused to fly the union flag at half mast in honour of Baroness Thatcher. Preston and Wigan were among them.

I am not sure of the reason in Preston but I understand the reason given in Wigan was that Mrs Thatcher was blamed for pit closures in the Wigan area.

It is worth pointing out that, at the time of the nationalisation of the mining industry in 1947, there were 65 working collieries in the Lancashire coalfields.

Mainly due to the exhaustion of coal reserves and the withdrawal in 1968 of steam engines on our railways, the 65 pits in 1947 had been reduced to 41 by 1962 and to 21 by 1967. By the time of the miners’ strike in 1984/5 there were only nine operating mines left.

Arthur Scargill called the miners’ strike in 1984 and completely ignored the miners’ democratic rights to have a strike ballot. As far as Wigan is concerned, a coach load of pickets from Yorkshire were sent to Golborne to tell the miners they were on strike.

A significant number (as was the case in the Nottinghamshire coal fields) did not want to go on strike, and the strike therefore created great heartache and bitterness dividing communities and families. Margaret Thatcher, on behalf of the people of this country, ensured the rule of law was upheld.

W J Kelly



This claim culture is

an insult

All retired coppers of my generation must feel totally embarrassed at the rampant compensation culture that, rather like a malignant cancer, seems to have permeated the force.

Surely it is a practice that is fundamentally wrong and estimated to be costing the country £20m annually.

Most surprisingly, many of these claims are instigated by the Police Federation and supported by that new breed of liberal minded senior officers who are now in post.

High-profile recent cases include a WPC on a midnight call tripping over a kerbstone and suing the garage owner for £50,000 for injuries received.

Why on earth was she not carrying a torch? Other prime examples include a PC paid a ludicrous £8,000 after being bitten by fleas, an occupational hazard in my day!

A WPC who developed post traumatic stress and a fear of sirens following riot training, an officer who slipped on a banana skin and finally a PC who was hurt by his handcuffs on a training exercise.

Over the years the police service has served the public unselfishly without fear or favour and the organisation should swiftly return to these principles. Policing by consent cannot work if officers are viewed with either scorn or suspicion. All those brave officers who over the years have surrendered their lives defending law and order must be turning in their graves.

Jim Oldcorn

Great Harwood