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Readers' letters - July 25

A correspondent says knife crime is a national crisis  what do you think?
A correspondent says knife crime is a national crisis what do you think?

Our country’s ‘in a grip of a knife crime wave’

The Office for National Statistics has revealed that the number of violent offences, involving knives or sharp instruments, continues to rise in England and Wales.
In March 2018, offences involving knives or sharp instruments had risen by 16 per cent to 40,147.
The total number of homicides (murder and manslaughter) also rose by 12 per cent from the previous year.
At the same time, separate statistics released by the Home Office show that the number of police officers fell in the year, to 122,404 officers as of March 31, from 123,142 a year ago. It is the lowest number of police officers since comparable records began in 1996.
The statistics once again highlight that the country is in the grip of a knife crime wave.
This is a national crisis, yet, Conservative ministers are refusing to give a real boost to police budgets and specialist anti-knife crime work.
The new Home Secretary has to prove he is up to the job, and he must start by urgently securing funding for more community police officers and investing in specialist anti-knife crime projects and youth services.
Kamran Hussain
Liberal Democrats

The people have spoken on EU

Anyone watching or listening to the media could be forgiven for thinking that the only things that exist or are worth talking about are Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, the royal family, the Beckhams and Theresa May, with saturation coverage on a daily basis.
Now I read that 38 MPs have written a letter demanding a second referendum on Brexit, never mind the 17 million plus who voted to leave Europe.
I voted to stay, but I accept the result, these MPs have the audacity to claim that the electorate, unlike them, didn’t understand the issues that were voted on and maybe Vladimir Putin used his influence for a no vote.
This view gives real understanding of what a small clique of MPs think about the electorate, if they speak like this in public, what are they saying in private?
These 38 MPs who don’t accept the European Referendum should now be subjected to instant recall by the electorate in their constituency where a mini general election should take place.
The discussion on Europe began after the Second World War, Edward Heath took us into the Common Market and Harold Wilson held a referendum in 1975. Europe split the Labour Party and the SDP was formed, the Tories have always been divided during Margaret Thatcher’s time and John Major’s time. Before UKIP, we had the Referendum Party, organised by James Goldsmith.
The aim of the referendum was to sort this out once and for all, the people have spoken and, as Bertolt Brecht said, ‘you cannot re-elect the electorate, their decision is final, if the decision isn’t accepted then democracy is in trouble.’
John Appleyard
via email

Thank you to
our volunteers

With the summer holidays here at last, I want to take a moment to thank an amazing group of people in our community.
It’s been a very busy year for the NSPCC schools service. Our volunteers have dedicated their time to visit children in primary schools and deliver our Speak out Stay safe programme. Our flagship schools programme ensures children, aged between five and 11, learn essential safeguarding information in a lively and interactive way.
By the end of our visit, we know pupils feel empowered and can speak out and stay safe.
Thanks to the sterling efforts of our wonderful volunteers, we are able to deliver assemblies and workshops to children to help them understand abuse in all its forms, know how to protect themselves, and identify trusted adults they can speak to and sources of help available to them, including Childline.
The difference that our schools service volunteers make to children’s lives is huge. Without them, we simply would not be able to do what we do. I would like to thank each and every one of my wonderful team for the time and energy they have put in over the past year, and I am very much looking forward to working with them again in the new school year. If you would like to help us, please visit the NSPCC website.
Melissa Holland
NSPCC Schools service manager