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We’re too soft

I agree with most of Mr. Blanchard’s remarks about this countries’ dealing with criminals. I find it amazing that some of these people are given inappropriate sentences or a suspended sentence for one to two years. What a waste of police time and our money!

Most of these people just carry on with life as usual. The victims have to live with the after-effects of what these criminals have done to their lives. Some never get over the experience. My aunt who was blind came home one evening with a friend to be told that a man was escaping through the kitchen window. He had been all over the house and left it in a terrible mess. Luckily he did not find her money. She lived to be a hundred, but never forgot every time she came home.

I knew of a teenage boy that was sent for Borstal for petty thievery (stealing wheels off cars with a gang). His mother was so upset when she went to see him, because he had been put outside in a field in late December to dig for potatoes. She said that his hands were red and sore. When he came out he was a different person and could see what he had done. This had given him a chance to change and he made himself a good life.

May I suggest that we bring back the stocks?

Janet Woodham, Scotby Avenue, Old Town, Swindon

Sentences are criminal

A man with 106 previous convictions punches a man in his 80s and robs him of £600. A thief and serial shoplifter with over 300 previous convictions is yet again let off with a community order and rehab. That’ll show him. A banned driver is caught driving seven times in three months. A repeat paedophile is released from several jail sentences early only to commit the exact same offences against children as young as 11 as soon as he is out.

Can the people in charge of law and order not understand why we are sick of this happening again and again. What the hell do you have to do to be locked up for a proper sentence these days?

However, park in the wrong place and the justice is instant. Drive with a slightly bald tyre, instant fine and points on your licence. Stop paying your council tax and they’ll put you in prison.

Why is it that offenders who have blighted the lives of our towns for decades are treated with sensitivity and a bucket load of excuses yet normal members of the public are dealt with harshly for minor offences? Disgusting.

Roger Lack, North Swindon

A real horror story

The letter (Nov 9) from Martin Webb talks about building a culture of peace, love and compassion across the UK.

But is he on the same planet as the rest of us? We have just had ten years of the most terrible austerity with no end in sight. The national debt is nearly two trillion pounds and still rising.

There is a frightening amount of knife crime with record numbers of murders in London.

House prices and rents have risen to a level beyond the reach of the ordinary working class.

These problems are especially hard for the millennials who are just starting out in life. The British economy is a horror story at the moment.

Steve Halden, Beaufort Green, Swindon

A touch of kindness

I would like to express my thanks to the people who came to my aid when I fell down in Regent Street recently. Also to the lady who took me to get a cup of tea and stayed with my to make sure I was alright to get home.

It was very much appreciated and many thanks to you all.

Mrs Barnes, Lyddon Way, Greenmeadow, Swindon

Full of pride

I have just finished watching the Remembrance Ceremony on television. My feelings? So many! Pride in and for these people. Sadness that so many died for our freedom. Amazement that so many people turned out to watch and pay their respects. And also the sight of so many ex-service men and women who marched in remembrance of comrades.

We should immediately stop giving money to foreign aid and instead spend it on our own Armed Forces. They are the ones who are there for us all. So let’s be there for them.

We are British and we welcome all those who love our great country. Moreover we should be proud of what we have achieved. We must never forget.

David Collins, Blake Crescent, Swindon

Tree felling shame

Swindon is somewhat bereft of significant trees. Those that we have need to be protected and guarded for the benefit not only of ourselves but also for future generations.

One such example was the superb Mediterranean oak that stood opposite the Boundary House (formerly the Red Lion) in Moredon. This amazing evergreen oak withstood every extreme that our weather could throw at it and was a local pride and joy. A few years back, following some falling branches the borough council saw fit to cut it down to the ground rather than exercise tree surgeon skills. But the tree was still alive and started sprouting again from its trunk into a developing and healthy bush.

You can imagine my anger and dismay to find that this healthy growth had been removed exposing once again just a stump of what once was a magnificent tree. The new growth was not a danger nor impeded vision for traffic so its removal is inexplicable

One assumes that this was carried out by either the borough or the Haydon Wick Parish Council. Whichever authority it was they should be ashamed of such vandalism.

Tony Mayer, Wheatlands, Haydon Wick, Swindon

Unsustainable royal

Charles III and now it’s Charles the Prophet! Apparently he was advising us fools about the dangers of plastic waste, the ozone layer, cutting down of the rainforests, non-biodegradeable materials etc decades ago!

Excuse me but I recall primary schools placing the subject as part of the schools’ syllabus-decades ago!

So the real prophets if you wish, were the schoolteachers themselves.

When someone else says it, it’s common sense, when Charles says it, he’s years ahead of his time.

Prince Charles is very good at what a lot of us would be good at: stating the blooming obvious. The difference is he gets £20m a year for it.

Here is a man with four massive homes and yet lectures other people about living sustainably.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

Driven to distraction

In your report “Let’s tell M4 drivers ’what they’re missing’” (SA 14th Nov), you report that Swindon Council is proposing putting signs over the M4 promoting Swindon as a place to stop or do business.

If I remember rightly, when motorways were first created, there was a strict rule that there should be no advertising on them – only signs directly related to driving on them (such as distances to certain places or exits).

ANY distraction for the driver could, literally, prove fatal.

Malcolm Morrison, Prospect Hill, Swindon

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