Sir, – First we have Northallerton Town Council giving us percentages because it is not prepared to reveal the presumably-low numbers attending the “consultation” on the proposed ‘town square’ (D&S, Jan 22).

Now we have North Yorkshire Police giving us numbers presumably in the hope we will not notice the percentages (D&S, Jan 29). But at least the police gave the figures with which we could calculate the percentages for ourselves.

We are told there were 108 arrests for drink driving in December 2009 but we are also told they conducted 4,000 breath tests. It therefore follows that 3,892 drivers who were not over the limit were required to give breath tests, 97.3 per cent of those tested.

Either local police officers are very bad at exercising their discretion about whom to test or their discretion has been taken from them and they are required to administer tests even if they have no reasonable suspicion of drink-driving. I suspect the latter. I do not condone those who drive over the limit but is it necessary to test so many to catch the offenders? I think not.

We are also told Northallerton town councillors praised local police when they were told crime had dropped by 31 per cent between December 14 and January 18 (D&S, Jan 29). The Pulitzer prize-winning writer Edwin Teale said: “You can prove anything with the evidence of a small enough segment of time”. He was right. The crime figures for one month, especially a month when the weather was so bad, are of no value in assessing true crimerates and the drop was therefore hardly praiseworthy.

D F SEVERS Trinity Gardens, Northallerton.