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Dear Jo: Readers letters.

Straw has a go too farJACK Straw wants the public to have a go and help the police keep law and order.

Let me remind the Home Secretary that we pay our council tax and expect the police to do their job.

Straw is taking us all for idiots if he thinks involving the ordinary citizen, who will very likely be hurt, is the answer.

C Natoli, Bagshot, Surrey

AS CHAIRMAN of our Neighbourhood Watch Association I have tried to have a go, as Jack Straw suggests.

As a result, my wife and I suffer abuse in our own neighbourhood.

We've had threats and been attacked and there's not a thing I can now do.

I agree with Mr Straw that beating anti-social behaviour shouldn't all be down to the police.

However they, and councils, must fulfil their commitment to their communities as well.

R Norman Lowestoft, Suffolk

OUR son-in-law tried to be a good Samaritan and got a good beating from those he was trying to stop.

His car was smashed in and he ended up having a finger amputated.

J Jolly, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

IF JACK Straw could assure us that, like him, we would have a policeman to protect us at all times, then I'm certain the public would take up his challenge to be part of the have-a-go society.

L Prince, Enfield, Middx

I TOTALLY agree with Jack Straw's call for a people's war on crime.

If we carry on ignoring it, where is it going to stop? What kind of society will we leave to future generations?

It is time we faced up to our responsibilities, but this does not necessarily mean confronting offenders head-on. I have just returned from a year in the United States where TV advertisements show how a citizen should act when witnessing a crime.

They show two scenarios - one where you confront and get hurt - and then the correct way - keeping your distance and making enough noise to attract attention.

This will encourage others around you to do the same till everyone is focused on the offender.

They will soon stop or run away. It may even discourage them from trying again for fear of being recognised.

Ian, Blackpool, Lancs COUNTRIES all over Europe have welcomed Kurdish refugees into their societies. But the Kurds' unruly behaviour has thrown that generosity back in our faces. Violent demonstrations are not acceptable.

D Smith, Banbury, Oxon STUB IT OUT, ROBI ENJOYED the Brits but I think it's wrong to allow pop stars like Robbie Williams to smoke on stage.

Surely at a time when we're being bombarded by "quit smoking" adverts, the stage should be a smoke-free zone.

This way our youngsters won't be wrongly influenced by their idols.

F Hayle, Blackburn, LancsMoD forcing open door to all racesTHE Mirror's article (Feb 16) exposing biased recruitment policies noted that only one per cent of the Navy or RAF's personnel were black or Asian.

The Ministry Of Defence fully accepts this figure is not good enough and is taking major steps to recruit from ethnic minority communities. In partnership with the Commission For Racial Equality we want to ensure the door to the Services is open to all. Applications from such groups have risen - and now make up 2.2 per cent of all received.

Oona Muirhead, Director of Information Strategy and News Ministry of Defencepounds 25 Letter Of The DayI WAS very moved by the shocking TV dramatisation of Stephen Lawrence's brutal death last week.

The courage and bravery of his parents, Doreen and Neville, is admirable.

Equally, their determination to see the inhuman thugs who murdered their son brought to justice is backed by millions.

I have a friend who's son was beaten by thugs. He is now disabled and brain-damaged, yet the animals who attacked him have served their paltry sentences and are now enjoying their lives and freedom.

Justice must be done for the Lawrences. Then the rest of society might be able to expect the same.

Diane Woody Ashford, KentSOLE CAUSE OF HER CONFUSIONI WAS looking for a pair of my five-year-old daughter's shoes in order to check the size.

I called over to her and asked if she knew how big they were.

She replied: "Of course I know. They're the same size as my feet."

R McTaxas

Eltham, London

WHEN my daughter picked up her five-year-old son from school he asked her: "Have you got my manners?"

Apparently the teacher had told him that he was the only one in the class not to have any.

J Atkinson

South Shields

Tyne and Wear

MY husband and I were in Tunisia on holiday with my daughter, her husband and my two granddaughters Michaela and Hannah, aged nine and five. We went out on a boat and I pointed out two buoys in the sea.

Hannah said: "They could be girls you know."

J Farry, Burnley, Lancs

OUR two grandchildren were visiting and on arriving said: "We've bought you some sweets."

I said: "How kind. But you shouldn't give us all your sweets."

My grandson replied: "These are the ones we don't like."

G Smith

Malvern Link, WorcsBlind leading the blandI WAS amazed to read that William Hague had gone over to America to pick the brains of the Republican Party to get new ideas to make the Tories more popular.

That really would be a case of the blind leading the blind.

The best thing Hague and his posse could do is visit a ranch, saddle up and ride off into the sunset.

R Rogers Droitwich, W Midlands
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Author:Dipple, Jo
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 23, 1999
Words:931
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