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Do crime figures reflect falling drug abuse? Rex MAKIN The Liverpool lawman is Makin his point.

Byline: Rex MAKIN

AS PUBLIC orator at John Moores University, Prof Frank Sanderson must have inaugurated the ascent from undergraduate to graduate of tens of thousands of students. He retired two years ago having been a member of the academic staff since it was a polytechnic.

He graduated from Leeds University and was awarded a professorship in health science at JMU in 1992. A former county squash player and golfer he has been an active sports all-rounder.

He was part of the launch of the first sports science degree in western Europe. On retirement, he completed a fascinating history of Life and Times in Victorian Weardale and the North East. Although not of direct interest to north-westerners it is a scholarly work and displays great skill.

. ? I RECENTLY referred to the welcome 41% reduction in reported crime figures locally since 2006. By coincidence, on the same day a report was published by the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse which revealed that the number of heroin addicts under the age of 40 has reached a record low with a higher proportion seeking help.

Many addicts reportedly fund their drug habit by various types of criminal activity to raise the PS100+ per day needed for their adulterated street heroin. It seems entirely possible that the reduced crime figures may well be related to this reduction in addict numbers. I certainly hope so. Perhaps someone should carry out a research project to establish whether this is indeed the case.

. ? WHEN Liverpool was inveigled into having an elected mayor this time last year, we were told this was essential to raise the city's profile, boost inward investment and give us more clout.

The recent announcement about the proposed PS32bn HS2 rail line revealed that it is to go direct to Manchester and Leeds - both of which rejected the idea of having an elected mayor - while (yet again) leaving Liverpool out on a limb and severely disadvantaged. What, if anything, will Mayor Anderson do about this? And if he can't do anything, it would be no surprise if more and more people question why we had to have an elected mayor in the first place.

. ? WHEN the city council agreed to sell the Municipal Annexe to what has turned out to be a Greek company, it could not have envisaged the time it would take to open as a luxury hotel. It is astonishing that it is still not open as such, particularly at this time when hotels here are not exactly flourishing as a result of the number that have sprung up in recent years.

Liverpool is no different from London, where I am told prices have tumbled and bed vacancies are hard to fill. You can see workmen from the Annexe enterprise strolling up and down Sir Thomas Street and Dale Street.

When on earth will it all be finished?
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 15, 2013
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