BUDGETARY restrictions and shortage of manpower has more than probably contributed to the announcement by Police Scotland that it will not be paying too much attention to minor crimes ("Police not to investigate all crime in Scotland from April", heraldscotland, February 23).

Whatever happened to the tried and tested axiom of nip it in the bud when it comes to lesser indiscretions?

That has been the mantra which parents, teachers and doctors have observed down through the ages respectively with regard to errant behaviour, mistakes and the onset of early health conditions.

Sadly, though, that sage saying seems to be more honoured in the breach these days rather than followed religiously.

It is with much dismay that we have had occasion to witness high-profile criminal cases come to court as a result of the failure to put a brake on early misdemeanours which went unchecked and so developed into horrific conduct which then hit the headlines so graphically.

Of course, there is a price to pay in police time and effort in looking into minor offences which is clearly frustrating when no successful outcome is realised. However, there is a much bigger price to pay when ignoring low-level crime leads to the breeding of confidence in wrongdoers to graduate from soft crime to hard crime.

I would urge our police service to reconsider its statement in the light of what will otherwise become the likely outcome if that soft touch of law enforcement is adopted.

Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.

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Trans policy is dangerous

IN developing its new policy for housing trans prisoners, the Scottish Prison Service conducted a survey among female prisoners, but refuses to publish their responses; and it now emerges that they deliberately hid other documents to avoid publicity via Freedom of Information requests ("Jail bosses in cover-up storm over trans inmate documents", The Herald, February 21).

The policy allows for housing trans prisoners even with a history of violence and with intact male genitals in full working order, in female-designated jails, if there is deemed to be some sort of "compelling" evidence that they do not pose an "unacceptable" risk of harm, and apparently even if their transition began only after they were charged. One wonders what an acceptable risk might be?

Those considered too dangerous to be so housed may still be allowed to "mingle" with females temporarily, to "support their gender identity".

Recent crimes in England have shown how psychiatrists, and other deemed experts, permitted a mentally-sick man to walk the streets despite not taking his prescribed medication; he then randomly killed three innocents. Other such experts were apparently fooled by a sexual offender that as he had "converted" to Christianity he would be at risk if deported to his native land, so was free to spray a corrosive substance into the face of a young mother with her two children.

This new policy is nowhere near as stringent as England's, and is grossly unfair and risky to both staff and female inmates. It is as unwise as permitting XL Bully hounds to be unmuzzled in their houses, thus potentially endangering its residents, from babies to pensioners - again, as evidenced by recent cases.

John Birkett, St Andrews.

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The case for EVs

DB Watson (Letters, February 21) uses a snowstorm of numbers to suggest that electric vehicle manufacturers mislead the public. He says that charging times under factory conditions are not "real world". How is this different from ICE (internal combustion engine) car makers who quote acceleration and fuel efficiency figures under factory conditions?

He goes on to suggest that electric vehicles are not "emissions-free". Well, they are: there is no exhaust on an electric vehicle. The manufacture of an EV, like all vehicles, does involve carbon emissions. Mr Watson offers a figure of six years for an EV to reach "carbon parity" with an ICE vehicle. I can offer a selection of other studies showing parity achieved in less than half that time.

But whatever the figure, Mr Watson fails to point out that, over its lifetime, an EV emits only a fraction of the climate-crashing carbon of an ICE vehicle and none of its pollution.

Jeff Rogers, Banchory.

The Herald: A protest by Waspi womenA protest by Waspi women (Image: PA)

Keep up the Waspi pressure

WHY is the media, in all its formats, not following the story of the injustice perpetrated on the Waspi (Women Against State Pension Inequality) women on (at least) a weekly basis?

Around 270,000 women have died since the Cameron/Clegg Government implemented the changes to state pensions for women and each day that passes will simply add to that number.

If this had happened to the male workforce, the TUC would have called for a General Strike, and if it hadn’t, most unions would have gone on strike anyway.

In the meantime many women are forced to ask for handouts from different funds within the remit of the welfare state. How can politicians sit back and watch this outrage?

Francis Deigman, Erskine.

Why can't they get together?

DR Gordon Baird has again highlighted the unnecessary travel excesses that many rural patients suffering from conditions such as cancer have to endure because of artificial boundaries and contracts ("GP’s blast at ‘unfair’ journeys for cancer patients", The Herald, February 23).

Great strides are being made to improve services for orthopaedics and ophthalmology patients with the spread of National Treatment Centres in Inverness, the Golden Jubilee etc where health board boundaries and budgets are streamlined for the benefit of the patient. Surely the Scottish Health Service can devise a logical national service for all services that require tertiary care co-ordinating with public transport, ambulance services and patient convenience.

I suspect a lot of savings could be made.

I hope Gordon Baird is not having to shout in another 25 years.

(Dr) Iain McNicol, Port Appin, Argyll.

Thank you, NHS

A FEW days ago I received a hip replacement at Fife’s National Treatment Centre.

The whole process was quick, professional and positive. Admitted one day, home on the following day, treated by a team of capable and kind people in a purpose-built centre, I feel very fortunate.

Yes, I have had to wait too long for treatment, and I realise that there is a great deal still to do in the NHS in Scotland, but amid all the criticism I want to remind readers that there are areas of excellence in the Health Service, and staff who need to know they are appreciated.

Catherine Collins, Ladybank.