Taxpayers are not getting value from Police Scotland

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Recent high profile events in the media have placed the spotlight on Police Scotland, with many commentators questioning the effectiveness of the organisation and in particular, the leadership of Sir Stephen House. Whilst ultimately it’s for others to judge, I wanted to share my own recent experience of Scotland’s finest, in order to make members of the public aware of some disturbing and worrying local policing problems.

On Thursday July 2, my car, which was parked in the driveway of my home in Corstorphine, was broken into and a full set of golf clubs and accessories, to the value of around £700, was stolen from the boot. The theft was immediately reported and I received a phone call the following day, advising me that this would be followed up by a visiting officer. That was some three weeks ago and at the time of writing there has been no further contact from the police. Given my experience, I have to ask, is it any wonder that the general public feels there is something significantly wrong at Police Scotland?

The local criminal fraternity and perpetrators of such crimes must be “rubbing their hands” safe in the knowledge that there is little chance of them ever being caught, given the absence of any meaningful response by Police Scotland. This despite there being a fully-staffed police building less than 250 yards down the road. No one has bothered to make the short journey to my home to investigate this reported crime.

I mistakenly thought we were paying our taxes to ensure that our families could feel secure in their homes, safe in the knowledge that we were being protected. I guess we are now paying the price for a political decision that doesn’t appear to be working in the best interests of the general public. I have written to my local MSP on the subject and look forward to receiving his response, although to be honest, I’m not holding my breath for a satisfactory conclusion.

P Anderson, Corstorphine

Seagulls are danger to humans and other birds

Will some child have to be killed before something is done about the threatening – protected – seagulls that are taking over all over our towns? It is the human population that is now in need of protection.

What surprises me is that the RSPB is not speaking out on this most serious subject. I now never see nor hear a blackbird or thrush in the morning, only seagulls/pigeons. I am sure they are a source of food for the protected seagulls!

John Connor, David Henderson Court, Dunfermline

Not just ISIS supporters who feel disengaged

The Prime Minister said Britain was a successful, diverse society but had to confront a tragic truth that there are people born and raised here who don’t really identify with Britain.

I agree with the sentiment but thought he was referring to SNP supporters before realising he meant ISIS.

The SNP now claims to be left wing. Does this make it a newer version of “national socialist”?

D Wilson, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh

Why is date of birth needed for bin report?

Dr John Welford (Letters, July 25) is concerned about Scottish Government moves which he sees as having “the clear but unstated aim” of enabling it to create a “super ID” national database.

He, and others similarly uneasy, might be interested to know what happened to me recently when, as a resident of a block of flats, I phoned Edinburgh council to report that our two communal general waste bins had not been emptied (normally an excellent service). I provided my address, naturally, and my name and my phone number. I was taken aback to then be asked for my date of birth. It was only a couple of un-emptied bins, for heaven’s sake.

I said that I was not happy about providing this and that it was too much personal information; to which I was told that in that case my call would have to be logged as “anonymous”.

Has any other reader experienced this? What’s the point of it?

Name and address supplied

Living streets are as precious as heritage

Calum Mackie (Letters, July 28) is absolutely right to highlight concern over the length of time that some properties lie vacant before being brought back into use.

Heritage concerns need to be balanced with opportunities to foster vibrancy and life in our city and there are too many down-at-heel unoccupied buildings – such as the Odeon in Clerk Street – where a preoccupation with heritage issues has contributed to years of missed opportunity.

Heritage is precious but so are living streets and buildings.

Councillor Cameron Rose, City Chambers, Edinburgh

Cycling not off-setting CO2 emissions in China

We are told that cycling reduces CO2 emissions and will save the planet.

China has millions of bicycles so why are their emissions the highest in the world and increasing?

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Shelters that give no shelter take biscuit

Which brainless person at the council passed a contract to erect two-sided bus shelters in a city known for its horizontal rain and snow?

Another fine mess!

Tom Loughray, Muirhouse Gardens, Edinburgh