Letters - December 5, 2018

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Too much time on the web is unhealthy

It is extremely difficult for any police force to realistically forecast their spending budgets because of their unpredictable caseloads.

The role of a police officer can change from day to day.

The police are witnessing increasing levels of poor mental health within their communities.

Why?

I believe the suggestions made from leading psychologists that the over-use of social media and smart phones is damaging for mental health.

On a daily basis, the police are dealing with challenges which ideally require the specialist training of mental health experts.

As a result, police resources are over-stretched by inheriting community social work duties.

These additional tasks reduce the capacity in their dedicated role to catch criminals and prevent crime.

I feel the police have greater challenges ahead of them if further cuts are made to the number of local authority social workers and NHS mental health teams.

Police forces should be supported and respected by society in the same way people look upon the military and fire service.

I also feel that young people should certainly spend less time on their mobile phones in a bid to protect their mental health.

There is also the fear from opticians that using a mobile phone in darkness is putting untold pressure on eyesight.

Young people should be encouraged to take part in sports, music, drama or community projects that can occupy their time and minds.

The art of human communication, conversation, listening and spacial awareness is being lost by younger generations because of their addiction to mobile phones.

Stephen Pierre

Unity Music 
Arts Trust

RESPONSE

Article brought tears to my eyes

Please congratulate Steve Canavan on his brilliant piece in last week’s paper, re. Enema! or Rock Bottom!

It brought back so many memories of what happened to me.

This story made me laugh so much it brought tears to my eyes, as it did for Steve I am sure.

In fact I had to read it twice it was so funny. Well done!

Jill Butt

Address supplied

TRANSPORT

Time to listen to the passengers

When is this inept Government going to act for the benefit of the passengers in the ongoing railway disputes?

We know that the Government is paying (very likely hefty) compensation to the failing companies, but ignores the plight of the travellers.

Many of the privatised companies have accepted there is a safety risk to having driver-only operated (DOO) trains, but perhaps our local (German-owned) operator Northern is making too much profit from strikes to care about our safety? Nationwide, reports are increasing of drivers being instructed to set off whilst at a red light, and of trains arriving at platforms too short for the number of carriages.

News of increased violence and sexual assault features regularly in the media and in official statistics, and railway companies respond by bringing in scab labour to break the strike being waged for our safety, bringing greater risk. RMT trade union leader Mick Cash raised the issue of profit over safety, with operators “happy to give criminals and thugs a free hand”.

The Government needs to listen to commuters and nationalise the railways.

Profits should go towards funding service improvements, not into the pockets of ‘fat cat’ bosses or subsidies for European commuters at our expense.

Paul Burns

Address supplied

BREXIT

Never any intention of a complete exit

So now a no deal Brexit will be chaos. Funny that, seeing a few weeks ago it was seen as better than the bad deal about to be dumped on us.

Whatever the outcome, there is no possible excuse for chaos as enough time has elapsed since the referendum vote to create contingency plans for all possible scenarios.

The fact that there isn’t simply shows that, apart from a principled few in Parliament, everyone from our Prime Minister downwards, including the Civil Service, never had any intention of a complete withdrawal from the EU.

Still, it may yet come back to bite them when the many conservative (small c) people in this country see how they’ve been duped and change their voting habits for at least a generation.

Paul Morley

via email