Is having more police on Kirkby Stephen streets the answer?

Date: Wednesday 11th July 2018

Sir, In reply to Valerie Kendall’s letter (Herald, 30th June), in which she calls for more policing in Kirkby Stephen in the run-up to Appleby fair, I would like to point out the most important aspect that she seems to have overlooked.

The “event,” as it was referred to by both Superintendent Mark Pannone and Billy Welch at the Kirkby Stephen town meeting, is called Appleby horse fair and it should not be allowed to disrupt the lives of Kirkby Stephen residents for up to three weeks beforehand.

If Appleby wants its fair to continue the town needs to get its house in order. At the moment Appleby seems quite happy for Kirkby Stephen and other outlying communities to put up with all the aggravation, antisocial behaviour and lawlessness that its fair attracts, while being willing to put up with these conditions themselves for only a three-day period during which certain people in Appleby make huge amounts of money.

As to her assertion that it is impossible to stop the fair, this is a smokescreen as it was indeed stopped during the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

No event is impossible to stop, but I feel this will only come about after the death or deaths of local residents during future fairs.

It is no use putting more police in to Kirkby Stephen during the fair if they refuse to uphold the law either through fear or dereliction of duty.

One instance of this was the posting of notices all around the town this year, prohibiting the consumption of alcohol on the street.

I have photographic evidence showing police officers happily chatting to groups of travellers, all of whom can be clearly seen drinking pints of beer.

If the police had more numbers, would they attempt to uphold the law or would the people of Kirkby Stephen continue to fear for their safety year after year? Yours etc,

DAVID TAYLOR

By email