Out of step with modern thinking?

Date: Tuesday 16th January 2018

Sir, You report (Herald, 6th January that our police and crime commissioner aims to boost visible policing by means of a modest increase in council tax.

If the plan comes to fruition, it is to be hoped that people who want to see their local police are happy with the result. But routine foot patrol — the “bobby on the beat” — began to fall out of favour with the police around 1970 and was effectively abandoned by the 1990s.

Any form of reinstatement would involve some reassessment of police priorities, and arguably quite a cultural shift as well.

My book, The Police and Me as the Thin Blue Line got Thinner, available locally and reviewed recently in the Herald, is more of a light-hearted collection of nostalgic reminiscences about 1960s–90s life in the police than a serious historical treatise. But it does have a lot to say about foot patrol and its eventual decline.

If, however, the paying public are being asked to stump up more for their policing, would they be happier about it if they knew where the existing funds are going? Yours etc,