Armed police

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“Opinion poll reveals ‘public backing for armed police officers’” (your report, 30 January).

Why is it that public bodies inevitably reach for opinion polls (for which we pay) to
justify unpopular policies or cover mistakes? We all know that polls can be skewed by question and choice of correspondent to prove anything.

If you polled 1,000 ex-members of the Paedophile Exchange (and sadly, there were probably far more than 1,000 of them) it would be possible to produce a result which seemed to indicate that the country favoured of 
paedophilia!

If TNS UK had polled me, and 1,000 like me, the beat policemen would have been putting away their pistols by now.

Pollsters are the evolutionary spawn of the advertising executive of the 1970s, and anyone who is reassured by their presentation of simple yes/no policy matters – which are used as propoganda – is either lazy, stupid or both.

David Fiddimore

Calton Road

Edinburgh