How touching that our county councillors should make us all aware of Hate Crime Awareness Week, clutching their placards to tell us all about this relatively recent addition to the lexicon of criminal offences.
Of course, ‘hate crime’ has always been with us by other names and the vast majority of lawful citizens need no reminding of its seriousness, just as those who are criminally inclined will take not a blind bit of notice to modify their behaviour, no matter how many placards are waved.
Meanwhile, we have Katy Bourne, our police and crime commissioner, telling us that numbers of police officers will never reach the even then abysmal levels of 2010, while going on to tell us how much more stretched the police service has become.
We are all aware of this: online fraud, child abuse, sexual assault, drug dealing, slavery, terrorism threats, and human trafficking, plus all the ‘traditional’ crimes of homicide, GBH, burglary, robbery, vandalism, anti-social behaviour, shoplifting and so on.
Are there any signs of decrease in any category of criminality? I don’t think so, but no, we can’t have a meaningful increase in policing levels and the idea of bobbies on the beat is just nostalgia for a bygone age.
‘Hate crimes’ have now had their week. When do we get a ‘Policing Priority Week’, Mrs Bourne?
Steve Haynes, Goodwood Gardens, Runcton