Metro letters, March 3, 2023: “Isn’t it the police’s job to fight crime?”

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What are the readers talking about? (Image: Getty)

Today, readers are preoccupied with one main topic – the story of a shopkeeper who had to let the thief go or else he would face trial himself.

This led to one reader commenting that more needs to be done to prevent crime from paying off.

Another reader argued that some people steal because desperate people are in a situation where they would take desperate measures.

Read and have your say…

■ A shop owner who caught a thief in the act and locked him up in his shop has been asked by the police to let him go or face trial himself (Metro, Thursday).

Jarnail Singh Atwal is furious at the response, claiming it “sends a message to thieves that anyone can come in and take whatever they want.” The police told him to let the thief go because he threatened to set the place on fire.

First, how could the police be sure he had the means to start a fire? Second, he was in a locked room, and if he did, he’d be the first to get the flames under control. And third, the mind is amazed at what damage it could do after being released from the room, possibly in a state of insanity.

As Morrissey once sang, shoplifters from around the world are truly uniting and taking over! December, Essex

■ A friend of mine is a shopkeeper in Colchester and is the victim of in-and-out theft on a daily basis. Despite good monitoring and continuous reporting, he receives no help from the police. He was told he could not stop or touch the thieves. A high-definition camera in front of his shop points to the bus lane. Danny, London

Shop owner

Store owner Jarnail Singh Atwal had to let the thief go or face trial (Image: SWNS)

■ A thief has stolen a packet of washing machine tablets. That sounds a lot like a desperate person trying to make ends meet during a cost of living crisis. Locking a person in a shop may constitute unlawful imprisonment.

There is a concern that the detained person may have health and/or social problems, so I understand why the police would be interested in this as it is completely more important than the original crime. Ken, London

■ I was very surprised to read about a shopkeeper in Derby who caught a man stealing from his shop but the police told him to let him go. Isn’t it the job of the police to stop crime and catch criminals? Apparently, they did not live up to their responsibilities on this occasion. Scott, West London

■ Last summer, three youths armed with a hammer and knives attacked an unlicensed person in our area. The shop owner and another employee drove them out, and a hammer was thrown at the shop owner’s head, badly wounding him.

Despite surveillance footage, the police could not find the assailants, and it took a long time for the shop owner to heal his head. Plus, he had to fix the shop’s broken glass doors and windows with his own money. Samuel, Tooting

“Grow vegetables in pots if you have little space”

■ I would like to challenge Adrian from Leigh-on-Sea (MetroTalk, Wed) that people cannot grow their own vegetables because they either have very little or no garden.

A few years ago I was forced to give up the plot due to poor health, but after more than 30 years of “growing” my own garden, I was wondering how I can continue to do it. My garden is too small for a greenhouse and is full of trees, shrubs and bulbs.

Answer? Grow in pots. Last year I grew raspberries, strawberries, potatoes, sweetcorn, melons, cucumbers, green and runner beans, lettuces and lettuce leaves, as well as sunflowers over 6 feet tall.

I prefer to grow tomatoes in bags under my rear window, but there’s no reason why they can’t be grown in pots. All you need is compost and fertilizer and remember to water. Potato packs can be purchased for around £20. Just finished eating the potatoes I harvested last July.

Money for compost etc. can be saved without having to buy fruit and vegetables at the supermarket. Homemade taste is much better, and the excess can be frozen.

Even if you don’t have a balcony or a garden, you can still grow certain types of vegetables on your windowsill. Try it and you’ll never look back. Kids love to pick shoots too – it’s like digging up buried treasure. Pam, Kent

“Will the Covid Investigation Provide the Whole Truth?”


Covid testing is back in the news amid recent allegations against Matt Hancock (Image: Paul ELLIS/AFP)

■ Matt Hancock disputes the allegation that he ignored expert advice to test people for Covid before sending them to nursing homes at the start of the pandemic – a decision campaigners say led to thousands of unnecessary deaths (Metro, Thursday).

If, as the former health secretary claims, someone is lying or “manipulating” the evidence – in the form of WhatsApp messages exposed by journalist Isabel Oakeshott – I know who I believe.

I expect Mr. Hancock will be dealing with many more questions. How did such a person ever get the job of Minister of Health? Jennifer, Manchester

■ Mr Hancock says a public inquiry is the right forum to assess how government ministers are dealing with the pandemic.

Investigations are nothing but cemeteries where the truth is buried and governments get away with it.

The pandemic has cost us billions of pounds and thousands of lives. This is a shameful chapter in our history. If we allow it, the establishment will bury it. ST Vaughan, Birmingham

What did you say…

We asked you on Wednesday if you think putting a QR code on a tombstone is a good idea.

You said…

  • No, I think there are better ways to keep your memory alive – 50%
  • Yes – it’s a great way to tell someone’s story if they’ve passed – 50%

‘David Cameron had to go – that’s why I voted Brexit as Remainer’

Former Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at the launch of United Against Malnutrition and Hunger at Unilever House in London.  Photo date: Wednesday March 1, 2023. PA Photo.  United Against Malnutrition and Hunger is a new alliance calling on the UK to re-prioritize in tackling rising rates of malnutrition around the world.  It will bring together leaders from across the UK who will use their expertise to find solutions to malnutrition and hunger.  Image source should be Yui Mok/PA Wire

Would David Cameron (pictured) have stayed in power had we not voted for Brexit (Image: PA)

■ Vic from Bexley says I should stay out of politics and Tinribs from Rotherham says he was speechless (Metro, Thursday) because I voted to leave in the 2016 EU referendum to ease the downfall of David Cameron and his sidekick, George Osborne.

I came to the conclusion that leaving the EU is the lesser of two evils because a Remain vote, which I wanted to do, would mean Cameron and Osborne staying in power.

During this period, there was widespread division as a result of the policies of these two men.

They deliberately scapegoated the most vulnerable in our society, which was doing tremendous damage. My voice that facilitated Cameron’s downfall was really worth it. Mike, Atherton

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