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OurSay; BIRMINGHAM Mail.

NO-ONE would deny the police the right to do their job - maintaining law and order and arresting wrong-doers.

Nor would anyone deny that officers in often have to make split-second decisions in extremely challenging circumstances.

So the raid on a Birmingham family's home as they celebrated a boy's first birthday was, in some ways, understandable.

Police were, after all, pursuing a man suspected of the serious offence of racially aggravated burglary who had been seen to run into the rear of Elizabeth Galbraith's house.

But Elizabeth - usually supportive of the police - accuses the officers who took part of being heavy-handed.

She says they would not listen as they chased around the house and the children at the birthday lunch were scared.

It is hard to argue that these apparently insensitive tactics were justified on such an occasion.

West Midlands Police have already said they will pay for the damage they cause.

Now as a sign of goodwill they should send round a children's entertainer to prove to little Corbyn Galbraith and his pals that cops are good guys.

Perhaps a police clown?

IT IS good news that Birmingham City Council has plans to upgrade and reopen Sparkhill's popular but closed swimming baths.

The bad news is that it is part of a citywide pounds 104 million scheme that has yet to be formally approved and the funding for which has yet to be clarified.

Coun Martin Mullaney, in charge of Birmingham's leisure services, is to be congratulated on his ambition and determination.

But he is new to the role and it is tempting to think that he has not thought the details of his grand vision.

That needs to happen - now. Because it is wrong to promise great things to the community and then to fail to deliver.

Coun Mullaney should, perhaps, begin by challenging whether a costly Olympic-sized pool should be part of his vision.

Many would argue that it is better to plough money into schemes that will benefit the community rather than the few.

Clear heads are called for.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 19, 2009
Words:342
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