Readers' letters: Police ahead of politicians on drugs

My heart really did skip a beat when reading Police Superintendent Sam Ainslie's column (News, January 5).

Saturday, 8th January 2022, 7:00 am

Superintendent Ainslie perceptively understands, with specific regard to drug crime, that offending cannot be reduced unless long term solutions are found to underlying causes - she specifically mentions poverty and wider inequalities.

Among those I would suggest are homelessness, poor housing, inadequate resources dedicated to mental health in the round and in particular childhood trauma and failings in our education system; these are all powers within the remit of the SNP Scottish Government.

The News (January 6) tragically reports that 856 babies have been born with addiction disabilities since 2017. The response to this from a Scottish Government spokesman, no less, is a justification of current policy – the same money being trotted out in announcements time after time as "new" and the usual platitudes and excuses.

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I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said "the man who is good at making an excuse is seldom good at anything else".

Notwithstanding, I was delighted to read Superintendent Ainslie providing details of the work Police Scotland are doing in engaging with community activists and recognised partners and agencies leading to the minimisation of long term detriments, improved life chances and breaking the cycle of re-offending.

Douglas McBean, Edinburgh.

Council pretence at traffic congestion

In Jolene Campbell’s excellent article about traffic congestion (News, January 6), Cllr Karen Doran said "the council is doing all it can to alleviate difficulties faced by drivers.”

But she is pretending, and she knows she is pretending, by using the word “unavoidable” as if it refers to all Spaces for People measures too.

The NHS driver quoted mentions two road closures which are totally avoidable - Whitehouse Loan and Braid Avenue (south).

When a deputation was made by a local resident, Christine Carr, to restrict the closure of Whitehouse Loan to school hours, transport convener Cllr Lesley Macinnes laughably asserted that the closure must remain all summer because the Links was a “destination” for people!

Cllr Doran actually asked Christine if she was not interested in children’s safety - a ridiculous illogical question considering Christine’s clear proposal.

Unfortunately the SNP have to appease the Green Party who are strongly in favour of the 24-hour closure. One of their councillors recently told me that it was necessary to enable people to "enjoy a safe family outing outwith the school day”. In brief, the council is doing very little to help motorists and have used Covid as a pretext.

Cllr Doran repeatedly berated Conservative councillors that it was all temporary, but she was pretending about that too.

Paul Bailey, Edinburgh.

EU membership

The voters of Scotland have indicated twice they did not wish to leave Europe. First was when SNP tried to take Scotland out of Europe with independence and then later with Brexit.

Everything described now as not working would have occurred earlier with independence, as we would have lost access to English markets as well as Europe.

With independence, how and when will we gain readmission to Europe? Saying we can is not the same as a workable plan, hopefully better than the numerous plans announced by SNP that never follow through to completion.

Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.

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