Readers’ letters - January 11

SPANA is calling on readers to support its Big Knit to help working animals
SPANA is calling on readers to support its Big Knit to help working animals

Skills aren’t academic

I find the recommendation by the College of Policing that all new police officers will need a degree under major changes to forces’ recruitment quite idiotic.

The skill set needed by an officer has nothing to do with academic achievement but more the ability to converse and identify with differing walks of life that he or she might encounter on a daily basis, together with self confidence, courage and a massive abundance of common sense.

How times have changed.

As a Longridge lad, and following a reasonable Jesuit education at the Catholic College when I decided to join the police in 1963, I was confronted with something of a dilemma. It was the choice of either the Lancashire County Constabulary or the Preston Borough Force. Without wishing to provoke or denigrate any of my colleagues and with tongue firmly in my cheek, I joined the county force as the only requirement was to be able to read and write whereas recruits to the borough force apparently only needed to know someone who could read and write! On a serious note, I am sure I speak for all members of the public when I say keep your degrees and give us back the old fashioned role of bobbies walking the beat.

Mind how you go in 2017...

Jim Oldcorn

via email


We can help
the lonely

It is important to remember those who have struggled with loneliness, depression and anxiety over the holidays, and continue to do so. This time of year can be particularly hard for the elderly. Aged Veterans Counselling, a government-backed organisation supported by veterans’ charities, offers a free counselling scheme to anyone born before 1950, and was in the military or completed National Service. Incidentally, most men over the age of 66 did complete national service and will therefore qualify. Aged Veterans Counselling offers vital support to those in need, providing up to six free counselling sessions in the comfort of their own home, provided by accredited professionals, which has proven to have an immensely positive impact on those who participate. So can I ask your readers to spare a thought for loved ones who might qualify and benefit? They can contact Aged Veterans Counselling on 0300 0120 247 or

Josephine Bey

Programme Director

animal welfare

Support our Big Knit for Vet Kit

I am writing to ask readers who enjoy knitting to support SPANA’s Big Knit for Vet Kit fundraising campaign. SPANA is a charity that provides free veterinary treatment to sick and injured working animals in developing countries.

We are calling on local knitters to make Duncan the donkey, Hattie the horse, Oscar the ox, or Emma the elephant – and get sponsored while they stitch. The free knitting patterns can be ordered from or by calling 020 7831 3999. Working animals do the jobs of tractors, trucks and taxis throughout the developing world and are relied upon by many of the world’s poorest people for their livelihoods. However, without SPANA, there would be no veterinary care available. SPANA is only able to carry out its work thanks to donations from the public and we’d be grateful if your readers could show their support for this campaign.

Kirsty Brzeczek

Head of Community and 
Supporter Care for SPANA


Buy British – help economy

As part of Brexit, the Government has a major opportunity to help British manufacturing to grow, at the same time as reducing our import bills. Once again, permit large ‘Buy British’ stickers and notices on all goods sourced by retailers from the UK. This practice was curtailed by Brussels. I would even suggest a TV advertising campaign explaining why and how this could give the nation a massive economic boost.

Les Arnott

via email


Friends ‘are anti-progress’

Re: fracking. Just a note to the shortsighted Friends of the Earth. I am so glad you lot weren’t around when coal was discovered, railways invented, canals built and so on ....

Mr G Cash via email