AS we all are aware, it is disrespectful to address orally or in writing someone you do not know by their first name.

I believe it is essential that our policemen and women must be able to command respect in order to carry out their duties with the primary objective of preventing crime and disorder.

Therefore I am astounded to see that the former Chief Constable saw fit to decree that all constables should have their first names embroidered on their uniforms. I can imagine the drunks and hooligans on a Saturday night are difficult enough without giving them more ammunition for verbal abuse.

I would also speculate that most of them would not understand the term "customer-friendly" even when sober.

The police service has been slowly eroded over a long period of time to the point where you wonder whether it is worth the effort of trying to report non-emergency matters.

I can only admire the poor coppers who nevertheless do a magnificent job despite the burden of pointless bureaucracy and ludicrous legislation imposed by successive governments.

In view of the current round of drastic economy measures and the transfer of administration to a company of proven unreliability, how can these offending epaulettes be justified? Why are police officers still wearing them and are there any more examples of frivolous expenditure that we should know about?

Miss M T KING

Ansley Way

St Ives