No substitute for '˜beat bobby'

It was kind of you to carry the contribution to your columns by Mr Ian Hannah on a tax rebate as the matter in question, i.e. conveying drunks and others to Wallsend for processing that could easily be carried out in Berwick, is totally unacceptable, (Berwick Advertiser, April 26).

Monday, 7th May 2018, 9:00 am

This ‘procedure’, introduced with ‘policing by remote’, is part and parcel of jointly combining centralisation and computerisation.

There can be no substitute for the good old ‘bobby on the beat’, which appears to have gone out of the window, as it seems has common sense.

Given the information Mr Hannah has, it is evident that it is the taxpayer who foots the bill for wages, including overtime, price of fuel and accommodation for those conveyed to Wallsend, some of whom may be in receipt of weekly welfare state hand-outs.

It was brought to my attention that about two years ago an ambulance responded to a maternity emergency. The mum-to-be was barely 17 and heavily pregnant. “My waters have burst, hurry”, she ordered the ambulance crew, who rushed her to hospital about 60 miles south of Tweedmouth.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

On arrival, the crew were bewildered as the young mum had not ‘capped’. There was no evidence of an immediate emergence of a baby until a midwife came out of the side room and told them “this young lady is pregnant, but her breaking water syndrome is due to her urinating herself, no thanks to an excess of alcohol”.

I believe that isolated incident cost the taxpayer some £500.

A great many regular readers of your newspaper are opined that more comment of that by Mr Hannah should find its way into the Berwick Advertiser, which has, in fact, overseas readers, not to mention computer enthusiasts who only read what suits them. Well done, Mr Hannah.

Whilst a lot has to be said in favour of computer technology, a lot has to be said for the written (or typed) word. One leading Berwick journalist told me some 11 years ago: “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

I still get a laugh when I see Stuart, a one-time postman. He apparently rings former rugby fan Melville to check all is well as neither has been mentioned in what they term ‘the hatched, matched and despatched’ column.

One thing I do know is that our PCSOs all have hearts of gold below those horrid uniforms, as indeed do the others on the ‘anaemic blue line’.

They do respond eventually. I’m afraid it’s a case of ‘Police - s-l-o-w’ as Wallsend is a long way off.

Eric Allen