Letters: Plans for police stations must be arrested

Exterior of Portobello Police Station. Picture: Greg Macvean
Exterior of Portobello Police Station. Picture: Greg Macvean
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IT IS very worrying news that Police Scotland is reviewing the opening hours of police stations, with the closure of some a possibility (News, July 12).

Firstly, crime doesn’t do 9-5, and neither should our police stations. What happens if you are in fear and seek the comfort of your local police station, only to find it closed for the night?

That’s bad enough, but what if police stations are closed for good, a possibility for Portobello, Leith and Oxgangs? These are not little stations situated in some crime-free rural idyll. They are all at the centre of large, heavily populated areas.

And they stand as a symbol, buildings with a presence sending out a message that the forces of law and order are watching.

Closing stations sends out a completely different message, that we have given up on fighting crime.

Yes, we have to make cutbacks in these trying times. But not at the risk of crime levels rising, or offences going unpunished. Hands off our police stations.

Kate Colquhoun, Northfield, Edinburgh

Number 26 bus should take the high road

I AM writing in agreement with the letter “What a way to run a bus company” (News, July 5).

My daughter has moved to a new estate in Prestonpans, at the top road.

I was visiting the other Saturday and I had missed my bus which runs along the top road, so I had to walk downhill to get the 26.

At 79 years of age it is not very pleasant, but not as bad as having to walk up as I’m sure the elderly would agree. Not everyone has a car.

As I got on the 26 to come to town, there were another two 26s going the same way.

I am sure one of these 26s could go to the top road in Prestonpans, and save some elderly people hassle, as well as young people with children.

M Welsh, Royston Mains Place, Edinburgh

TV legend who will be missed

I WAS sorry to hear of the death of Alan Whicker, the famous journalist and broadcaster.

He was a household name when I was growing up in the Seventies, and his programme Whicker’s World was eagerly awaited by millions of viewers, and his pioneering style set the standard for later travel documentaries.

Many broadcasters followed Alan Whicker, but never with such style as the master.

Andy Morris, St Leonard’s Lane, Edinburgh

Restore the fountain memorial to Burns

There is a growing movement in Dalkeith to restore the Burns Memorial Fountain, and as an expat living in Canada, I totally support this cause.

This cause has historical importance as a whole generation does not even know of the existence of the fountain at its current location of Komarom Court.

It is largely ignored and passed by thousands of times a day without a glance in its direction.

Due a great deal of research and photographic evidence, we now have an idea of what the fountain looked like in its original state.

Several cast-iron memorial drinking fountains have been discovered, all of which have similar design details to our Burns fountain: the Anderson Memorial Fountain in Dornoch, Sutherland, the Bainbridge Memorial Fountain in Middleton, Teesdale, Durham, the Harbour Fountain in Portmahomack, Easter Ross and the Aitken Memorial Fountain in Govan. Each of these fountains has been restored and designated historic listed buildings, and yet our memorial to Robert Burns, the national bard, is coated in decades of paint that obscures the architectural details.

Dalkeith is a historic town with many listed buildings, and the town centre is currently undergoing improvements.

The restoration of the Burns Memorial Fountain should be included in these plans.

Helen Szafer, Ontario, Canada

Chimp’s death shows the progress made

The passing of Louis the chimpanzee reminds us that TV advertising has progressed, technically as well as socially, since the 1970s, as evidenced by the PETA US ad that took Gold in Cannes at the advertising film festival this year.

Once, we didn’t realise that there was something deeply wrong with taking infant animals away from their mothers – and chimpanzee infants never leave their families – and using them as living props and unpaid “talent” in order to sell goods.

Today, advertisers can play to our love of and fascination with animals without harming them, with award-winning creations such as Russian-accented CGI meerkats and a man in a gorilla costume drumming along to Phil Collins.

With all the high-tech animatronics and software available today, there is no justification for subjecting animals to the stress of travel, confinement, confusing conditions, bright lights and loud, scary noises that come with a film productions.

Ben Williamson, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

If you take a life then yours must be taken

THE European Court of Human Rights has ruled that convicts can no longer be given a life sentence as it infringes their human rights.

So, I have a suggestion.

When someone commits a murder they have taken a life. Seeing as they have taken a life, they cannot be given a life sentence, so they should instead be killed by lethal injection. When they take a life, theirs should be taken as well.

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian