Bedale crime

I WAS astonished to read that businesses such as my family’s shop, Nickery Nook, and residents of Bedale were being criticised by our police and our local councillors for using social media, specifically Bedale Grumbler, to report incidents rather than report to the police (‘Report crimes to police’ call issued, D&S Times, Jul 15).

This is so misinformed as to be laughable were it not so insulting.

All incidents of trespass, damage and abuse relating to Nickery Nook over the past year have first been reported to the police. Using 999 – no officers available; 101 – no response for at least two days and then typically just a phone call back; the online report form – again, no follow-up for two days then an offer to call me a couple of days later; seeking a uniformed officer at the local police station, typically closed although I did recently scour the town and found one in the supermarket.

My original post to the Grumbler was a grumble about how frustrating the seeming lack of progress in stopping these incidents and the absence of follow-up information from those initial reports had been.

The most disturbing outcome from the Grumbler post has been the number of local people including unaccompanied women who report being intimidated and threatened by groups of youths in the town and car park, including those who witnessed youths entering our business and a neighbouring business.

In many cases victims and witness’s posts make it clear that having been photographed by the youths, they fear repercussions following any report they might make.

Some report not using 999 because the youths have moved on having made their threats or because the victims/witnesses have got to their cars or homes and mistakenly believe 999 is no longer appropriate, others posted that they had used both 101 and the on-line system to little avail.

My most successful experience of police response to an incidents followed my visit to police HQ to make an appointment with a senior officer – there were none available although surprisingly it did get an officer to our shop by the time I returned. He was accompanied by a colleague who called at the shop having read the posts on The Grumbler, but who had not been copied in on the on-line report!

Officers confirmed that every youth photographed on our roofs were known to them, including some already within the Youth Justice system, but if I understood correctly, no action could be taken as only the trespass was witnessed by a camera, and this is not a criminal offence, nor the criminal damage as this was to one of our sloping tiled roofs at some distance off camera.

I was optimistic – for a brief moment when the police wanted accurate times of the incidents so that they could ID the youths using the Market Place and car park CCTV but my hopes were dashed when they agreed that it only showed them using the passageway, not the trespass, nor the damage, nor the threats to three witnesses.

There was an article in the Daily Telegraph last week reporting a scheme where local police in three other authorities had blitzed crime hotspots with 15-minute daily patrols, resulting in crime being cut by up to 70 per cent and overall offences by almost 40 per cent. A lesson here for our local commissioner perhaps?

Keith Mungham, Nickery Nook, Bedale.

Crustacean deaths

SINCE late 2021, there has been deep concern, up and down the North East and Yorkshire coasts, about the mysterious deaths of thousands of crabs and lobsters on our beaches.

There has been national and international interest about the cause of these fatalities, especially as they continue to occur, admittedly on a smaller scale.

We not only need definitive answers but to obtain meaningful government support for the local fishing industry.

Hopefully, our MPs are listening and will address these urgent matters once workable Tory government is restored.

Defra’s co-ordinated multi-agency investigation concluded that the most likely cause of the deaths was a harmful algal bloom present in the sea at the time.

But the suspicion persists that another possible cause is dredging, causing toxic contamination.

The Defra investigation ended in March but continued crustacean deaths means, rightly, that the demand for further investigation grows louder.

Steve Kay, Deputy Leader, Redcar & Cleveland Council.

Going solar

AT the beginning of this week, we all experienced unprecedented temperatures after the continental heat wave travelled north.

We are warned to expect more of the same in the future and meanwhile our TV screens show fires raging in Spain, Portugal and southern France.

The heat has already caused deaths in the hottest areas, so when will our international governments accept that not only is climate change happening, but we have reached a climate emergency.

It is time for us to make radical changes in the way we live, starting with a fast-track removal of fossil fuels.

Governments need to find sustainable ways of producing power for our homes, hospitals and manufacturers.

As well as making more use of wind and water power, I would suggest that new laws must be introduced for all planning departments, local and national, to make it compulsory for all new buildings to be fitted with solar panels.

They are less intrusive than wind turbines and can make the average home self-sufficient in producing electricity, especially during the long summer days.

As our electricity prices soar, owners of new homes would reduce household bills with immediate effect.

If the government were to offer grants to existing homeowners to “go solar” there may be no need for the huge expense of constructing new nuclear power stations.

As someone who installed solar panels at the beginning of this summer, I can vouch for their effectiveness. Not only do they produce all of my electricity, but they also supply power to the National Grid.

If this country made more use of solar, wind and water power, there would be no need for us to pay for Russian oil and gas.

Even more importantly we would reduce our carbon footprint, so helping to reverse climate change.

Helen L Robson, Harmby, Leyburn.

Red alert

THE candidates at the first two TV hustings for the position of leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister have not spent more than a couple of minutes on the most important problem facing all of us, stopping climate change.

Their level of ignorance of the problem is remarkable. Over the last 20 years our government should have been leading the way for the UK to have a change to 100 per cent renewable energy. We would now be using reasonably priced clean energy, with no need to import and have a healthier environment.

Some of the candidates appear to think biofuels and nuclear are the answer when they are not. Biofuels use up valuable forests and agricultural land while still emitting carbon dioxide. Nuclear is very expensive, produces dangerous waste and can produce catastrophic disasters.

Our government has given away millions of pounds in subsidies to these forms of energy generation eg £832m to Drax Power to burn wood in 2020.

We need a crash programme to insulate and adequately ventilate our homes so people can keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Costs will be involved but it is essential for healthy comfortable lives.

None of these Conservative candidates have proved to be suitable to be our Prime Minister.

Michael E Chaloner, Aiskew.

In dismay

AS a lifetime Tory voter, I feel that my local MP, Rishi Sunak, has successfully taken away my vote.

I would never vote for treachery, and I could never vote Labour (I remember them in office!) so that leaves me in limbo.

I am a great admirer of Boris Johnson and am grateful personally for my Covid vaccine, Brexit and his stance on Ukraine and am horrified at the back-stabbing behaviour of Mr Sunak and Sajid Javid, and they dare to talk about integrity?

Mavis Wilkinson, Romanby, Northallerton.

Cabinet integrity

IN a letter to the D&S Times (Dec 17, 2021) I argued that the whole of Boris Johnson's Cabinet were guilty by association.

I wrote: "This Conservative Government is without shame, beyond accountability, acting in contempt for everything actually British – Britain itself including Northern Ireland, the constitution, the rule of law, respect for the monarchy, respect for judges and professionals, for decency, civility, for the needs of local government, careless for the very welfare and lives of its citizens. The Conservative Party in the country and in Parliament have abandoned their traditional principles and purpose, have been taken over by showmen and extremists, morphing into a narrow English nationalist party, so creating a dis-united, rather than a United Kingdom."

Observing Mr Johnson's crude departure and his fellow culprits jostling for his place, I conclude that they are all unfit for national office.

It's totally implausible that those who enthusiastically took office from, and cheered on, Mr Johnson as he lied, misled, cheated, rubbished the rules and recklessly mismanaged the government, Parliament and the people, should now be considered qualified, in any way, to lead a once proud nation.

The Cabinet of culprits are now shimmying away from the crime scene, pretending they have integrity, an ethical compass and a plan.

Up close the plan is to get themselves into power, then carry on as before with impunity, austerity for the public sector, tax cuts for the rich and a "war on wokes" and policy gimmicks like Rwanda, to distract blame for continued actual policy failings at home.

Living standards comparisons places Britain now only above people in Greece and Cyprus.

If they had any integrity, any replacement for Mr Johnson would put forward their plan and policies to the electorate, not to the 100,000 Conservative Party members who do not represent the people, the principles and will of the people.

This government should resign and allow the people to appoint its successor. The country deserves better.

Dr John R Gibbins, Sowerby, Thirsk.

Vote wisely

SOME of our fellow citizens will have the privilege of voting for a new leader of the Conservative Party.

More importantly, it will also be a vote for a new Prime Minister.

Neither our government, nor the country is currently in the best state of health; we need a strong, experienced person who is a unifier and a beacon of integrity and skill to save our society from disintegration.

Some years ago, we used to sing “Britannia rules the waves”. In more recent times, with the success of the City of London, we have been able to sing “Britannia rules the safe”.

With the right management, our financial skills, and those of the service industries, we can produce economic success and leadership in our economy.

In my humble opinion, Rishi Sunak, "a man of substance”, is the right person to put us back on a winning path.

We do not need "ups and downs", we need more “steady as she goes”, and we have no time for vicious in-fighting.

To vote for nebulous tax cuts, or for a woman, just because that person is a woman, does not help Britain’s needs.

Perhaps, with a steady Government, the by-product might be a better Opposition, thus saving our democracy.

I would say to those casting a vote, "do not waste your vote on who looks best but make your decision on who is the best".

A large number of Members of Parliament seem to be backing Mr Sunak, my MP. The Opposition is not ready yet.

Bernard Borman, Leyburn.

Global emissions

I AM very happy that there is such emphasis on, and money being put in making us carbon dioxide net zero by 2050 although I will be 110 by then.

As a scientist, I am also very interested in the new ideas to use energy more efficiently and in new ways of its production.

My main concern is that since carbon dioxide is ubiquitous it is vital that the other countries in the world do the same.

If they don’t, then there will be no improvement in our weather problems.

Our production is about one per cent of the total.

I wonder if those who are being active in this area could direct their energies towards reducing carbon emissions in other parts of the world as well as here?

Dr John E Lloyd, Darlington.