IN an article (February 7) relating to metal thefts a police chief inspector stated the police needed the public to be their eyes and ears. Valiant Square, Upwood, is a housing complex which was until recently occupied by USAF personnel and formed part of
IN an article (February 7) relating to metal thefts a police chief inspector stated the police needed the public to be their eyes and ears.
Valiant Square, Upwood, is a housing complex which was until recently occupied by USAF personnel and formed part of RAF Upwood. On the opposite side of the road is RAF Upwood Clinic, which is still used by the USAF and has armed guards. In the centre of Valiant Square is a children's playground provided by the RAF.
My wife and I exercise our dogs in the area, and in October we noticed metal seats and the metal fencing around the playground had been removed, as well as drainpipes from some of the houses. A day or so later, a large netball enclosure had been removed and a sledgehammer lay in the grass.
As a consequence I went to the guardroom at the clinic and spoke to a guard who astonished me by admitting that he did not know where Valiant Square was. I pointed out to him the apparent thefts and asked him to contact the MOD. He said he would.
The next day I again called at the guardroom to find a different guard sitting under a fan with his eyes shut. After attracting his attention I asked him if my message had been passed on. He said he doubted it, as he had heard nothing. He also professed not to know where Valiant Square was.
Subsequently, I called at Ramsey police station to report the matter. After standing for 15 minutes in the waiting area and being ignored, I left. On returning later, I was told an officer would visit me to obtain full details in the near future. This did not happen.
In November I wrote to the Chief Constable expressing my dissatisfaction with the whole affair. This was acknowledged by the sector commander.
Twenty days later I received a letter from the local sergeant stating he had requested a PC to make enquiries with the MOD. This was dated November 26. No explanation or apology was given for the failures to act in relation to my original visit and I again wrote to the Chief Constable. This was acknowledged by the staff officer, who said she had spoken to the sergeant who said the constable was making enquiries with the MOD.
The next day I was visited by two female officers, as distinct from the PC who was supposed originally to have been contacting the MOD. One said that she had the previous day spoken with the MOD police sergeant who confirmed drainpipes had been stolen, but astonishingly said the playground equipment's removal had been authorised. In fact, some slides and swings remain.
Perhaps your readers will appreciate my feelings when I read that the public are asked to be the eyes and ears of the police. As far as I am concerned, it is a waste of time. Little wonder we have had our new cemetery gates stolen.
R LOGAN, Pound Road, Bury