Is it time to pay for private police on our streets?

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Sir,

In the last month or so, your newspaper has carried a story about a lad in Thurnscoe who terrorised his local area.

It even made it on to local radio. Why? His story is nothing new – it happens every day on many of our estates.

I am no expert, but I have been on both ends of this crime. Your own pages carry stories about antisocial behaviour, so how, or why, does it continue to happen?

Last week, I heard on the radio a senior police officer state one cause of it was the courts – that is, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

Even when the police catch these yobos, your article about the Thurnscoe lad proves that, doesn’t it?

We have councillors round here, slapping themselves on the backs because they got two play areas built, but people living near the football “cage” on Prospect Road are sick and tired of the racket at this site late at night.

It used to be an excuse used by kids when they said “there was nothing to do” – but I read in another paper, that another play area is to be built on the old Welfare pub site.

Let’s be honest, it’s not the young that are to blame, it’s the teenagers, the 15-years-onwards types who roam about with the booze they buy.

Now the Chief Constable has been on the TV telling the public that cuts to policing will affect frontline services.

In a recent letter people may have thought I was joking when I said “around here we won’t see any change”.

It’s true we won’t, because we don’t see a copper anyway, and it’s the same everywhere, but the chief stills says crime is down. To him it is... because some crimes are not “reportable”.

I wonder if the public were asked if they would prefer to pay a private security firm to oversee their street, instead of paying the police, what the outcome would be.

It would be interesting to find out.

Les Atkins,

Bolton