Letters: Leave operational police roles to the professonals

Have your say

Having read the comment article by Mike Crockart (News June 11), I find myself wondering how much research was done before writing this piece.

The creation of a single police force was supported by senior officers and unions. Their decision was based not just on the savage cuts being handed out from Mr Crockart’s Liberal Democrats and Conservative friends at Westminster but by taking an opportunity to improve a service responsible for the best crime figures in 37 years.

Being faced with the effects of housebreaking can be traumatic for victims, but Mr Crockart’s scaremongering is astonishing. It is true that the Housebreaking Investigation Unit has been disbanded, but it has been replaced by a Community Investigation Unit, who will offering their expertise, steer investigations, establish whether there are any patterns involved and, where there are, collate the evidence to report the offenders. This team have already had a number of successes since the beginning of April and reported a significant number of offenders.

I would also suggest to Mr Crockart and his Better Together chums that paying six-figure sums to have non-professional Police Commissioners as they have in England is nothing but a complete waste of public funds. Operational policing should be directed by police and not politicians, an independent police service should be encouraged.

The public have a right to know that England will lose as many police officers as Scotland has on the streets thanks to Mr Crockart and his Tory coalition colleagues. I know which service I want for Scotland.

Colin Keir MSP, Edinburgh Western Constituency and member of the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee

Help is available if you look for it

The letter “More help is needed at railway station” (News, June 11) is missing the fact that Network Rail offers a free Assistance service which can be arranged prior to travel.

I arrange travel for my elderly cousin when she travels from Kings Cross to Edinburgh on holiday and her return journey to London

It is a marvellous service where she can wait in the waiting room before the journey and is collected by a porter who ensures she is on the train, loads her cases and takes her to her seat. At Kings Cross, she is met on the platform by a porter who unloads her cases and takes her to the taxi rank. A wheelchair can be arranged if required.

I have used this service for years and we have never had a problem. Network Rail should be applauded for this great service.

Helena Malcolm, Broomhouse Grove, Edinburgh

Union scare story has no basis in reality

It has been intriguing to note the claim by Home Secretary Theresa May that Scots could lose their British passports and be denied dual nationality following a “Yes” vote for independence in next year’s referendum.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is generally agreed to be the foundation of international human rights law and covers the issue of nationality that would arise if Theresa May was to follow through on her warning. It should be noted that the UK has been a signatory to this treaty since December 10, 1948.

Article 15 of the Declaration states:

(1) Everyone has the right to a 

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

The simple legal position is that Theresa May has no choice but to accept that any Scottish person living in Scotland who wishes to retain their UK passport is indeed a UK citizen who merely happens to be living in a different state, as millions do now. Should she attempt to interfere with that choice the UK would be in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which would be more than a touch problematic for international relations.

Current UK Borders Agency advice states that British subjects who take on another nationality can keep their British nationality and passport, as long as the second country allows dual nationality – something the SNP has explicitly stated would be its policy, and which it’s extremely hard to see any of the other parties opposing.

Theresa May’s warning is symptomatic of the Unionist scaremongering we have become well accustomed to and which has no basis in reality.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

High drama over a point of grammar

For once I find myself in agreement with Edinburgh City Council (“There’s a question mark over apostrophe for Princes Street”, June 12).

The street was called after not one but two sons of George III, Prince George and Prince Frederick. So any apostrophe would have to go after the final ‘s’. But we seem to have managed without one for the last 200 years.

I don’t know how often I have written to newspapers to rebuke them for spelling St Andrews University as St Andrew’s. When in doubt, leave it out!

Harry D Watson, Braehead Grove


Getting it right is the name of the game

I WOULD like to make clear to readers of the News that I am an unrepentant socialist.

The impression created by the sub-headline in your ‘Madam Moneybags’ story (June 12) may have caused some to think that Gordon Munro – there are a few of us in Edinburgh – rather than Robert Munro was the man found guilty. I hope you see fit to publish this so that the good name of Gordon Munro remains intact.

Councillor Gordon Munro, Leith Ward, Labour