Letters: Reformed justice system is needed for us to beat crime

Picture: Rob McDougall
Picture: Rob McDougall
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IT is not so much a new police force we need, but a serious reform of some parts of our justice system.

I think we already had an efficient police force, but with the introduction of a single Scottish force make it any better?

The police force needs an efficient justice system to back them up, to cut down crime.

It is all about getting the balance right between punishment and rehabilitation and how to create a justice system that will lower crime and protect communities by breaking the system of re-offending.

Victims should be at the heart of the British justice system.

In the current economic climate, tough decisions have to be made and savings need to be found, but that does not mean that there should be less focus on meaningful reforms of the justice system.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

Alarm bells ring over new housing

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations has cast doubt on the Scottish Government’s ability to meet its own targets to build 6,000 affordable homes per year of which 4,000 will be for social rent.

As the umbrella body to Scotland’s social house builders, these concerns should send alarm bells ringing.

The Scottish Government must reverse its disproportionate cut to the funds for Scotland’s house building programme in order to provide the resources needed to deliver on their promise to the 157,000 households on waiting lists.

The week before last Shelter Scotland, CIH Scotland, the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers and SFHA joined forces to publish a new report warning of Scotland’s lack of capacity to meet current and future demand for social housing.

The 6,000 provision must be delivered. Only then can we have any hope of ending Scotland’s housing crisis for good.

Graeme Brown, director, Shelter Scotland, South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh

Get down the pub and raise a glass

I ENJOYED Colin Valentine’s article (Make a pint of getting down to your local pub, News, April 3) about the economic and social importance of our public houses.

In Leith our pub history project has been researching this fascinating area. Collected material has been used for lectures, discussions and pub songs about life on the Waterfront.

April is Community Pub Month, which is surely a golden opportunity to rediscover our wonderful Lothian inns and taverns.

Cheers!

Ian Lutton, Boswall Road, Edinburgh

Scots should take cancer care lead

April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, and as we look forward to hearing the forthcoming recommendations contained in the Routledge Review of current systems for making new medicines available across NHS Scotland, rest assured bowel cancer patients south of the Border will be keenly watching to see how the Scottish Government responds.

In England, the Cancer Drugs Fund has given thousands of patients with bowel cancer access to life-extending, but expensive, drugs. However, this fund is due to come to an end in January 2014 and nothing has yet been announced to replace it.

Indeed, our research released has shown that the uncertainty around whether the funding will remain in place next year could leave as many as 6,500 bowel cancer patients in England in limbo, not knowing whether they will be able to access the drugs their doctor wants to prescribe.

No such programme exists in Scotland yet. But if the Scottish Government is to avoid the confusion being seen with the CDF, it must urgently address the problem of unequal access once and for all. How? By ensuring that the on-going New Medicines Review establishes a system of access to a wide range of drugs and treatments for the growing number of Scots diagnosed with bowel cancer every year.

In many areas of health, the Scottish Government has shown a lead to the rest of the UK.

I would urge it to do what is necessary to become an exemplar for how patients with bowel cancer are cared for. Thousands of Scots are relying on them.

Mark Flannagan, chief executive, Beating Bowel Cancer