Readers' letters - February 1

What do you think is causing knife crime in schools?
What do you think is causing knife crime in schools?

Four reasons behind rise in knife crime in schools

For more letters:

Surely someone is going to seriously tackle the problem of knife crime in schools?
People will give their reasons for this.
Mine are simple, I hope.
Television has much to answer for.
Soaps used to be clean, informative and often funny.
Look at them today.
In every one, we see brutal attacks and killing.
Is this entertainment?
Most of these take place early evening when I would assume children and young people are watching. Is there no control over this?
Many of the other programmes are certainly something to worry about.
Secondly, what about discipline in schools?
All this seems to have gone.
Pupils call teachers by their first names.
Teachers are often dressed as if they have just walked out of a charity shop.
When I was young, we respected our teachers.
Even those who had to wear a collar and tie.
Thirdly, National Service did bring us into line and again to learn respect.
Probably we would have been taught to handle knives correctly.
Finally, it is also the responsibility of parents to take notice where their little offsprings are at night.
Perhaps if they had a look around some of our town and city centres, they would be more than surprised at what they do see and find.
Barry Foster
via email

Urgent need for foster carers
Children in care are some of the most vulnerable in society.
We know more than half have experienced neglect and abuse. So, at Barnardo’s, we urgently need to find more amazing foster carers to support them.
There is a pressing need to find more than 1,050 foster carers across the North West in the next 12 months with the right skills and training to care for children, many of whom have experienced trauma or difficult circumstances. So it’s crucial our foster carers have someone they can turn to.
Knowing that Barnardo’s provides carers with ongoing support and training to help them when the going gets a little tough means they can be reassured there’s always someone there for them.
Our carers have access to round-the-clock advice and the support they need if they have a problem.
We also have a network of foster carers which stretches across the UK and is a veritable gold mine of advice and experience all our carers can tap into.
As a Barnardo’s foster carer you’re never alone – there’s always someone to pass on their own experience, advice or offer friendship.
Taking the first step towards fostering can often be the most daunting but our experts are on hand to explain what’s involved and the next steps on your journey.
Our foster carers are from a variety of different backgrounds, nationalities, religions and ages and can be single or married, male or female, a homeowner or renting, straight, lesbian, gay, trans or bisexual.
At Barnardo’s we truly believe our foster carers are phenomenal, but the reality is they’re ordinary people doing something extraordinary because they’ve taken the decision to open up their families to look after vulnerable children.
If you’re interested in fostering, please visit our website at and let us reassure you that we will be with you every step of the way.
Rebecca Quigley
Manager, Barnardo’s North West Fostering Service

on Europe

Why the fixation with Winston Churchill?
Yes, he was a great man, a statesman and, thankfully, the right man to lead us in our darkest hour.
However, as a peacetime leader and pre-war Cabinet Minister, he didn’t have a great track record.
Ironically, he was broadly in favour of greater post- war European integration.
But this is 2018!
Brexiteers seem oblivious to the past benefits of the single market, and the detrimental effects of leaving it.
We were the fifth-biggest economy in the world, we are sixth now.
What will our position be after Brexit has actually occurred?
I do not dispute the vote, but do think it was a mistake.
By the way, what’s in a name?
I was born in Malaya, but both parents were born and bred in Essex, and did their bit in the war.
(Dad a Japanese PoW, Mum a physio in the WAAF).
John Van der Gucht
Address supplied