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Courts can do more

Should Swindon courts not take some of the blame for the anti-social activities of Kenton Knight (SA, November 22) and others?

Clearly Knight has no respect for the courts or those in authority – and who can blame him?

The key lies in Swindon youth court bench chairman Michael New’s, recent statement: “I know you have been in this court many times.”

The key phrase ‘many times’ leaps out at one. It’s truly farcical.

Why not just one caution and if any further offences are committed bring their smug, evil world crashing down on them?

But no. PC rules state for the first 50 or so anti-social offences a tap on the wrist suffices, (or so it seems) so carry on terrorising the neighbourhood.

Needless to say, it is highly unlikely that any members of the bench live in the terrorised areas!

How many times down the years have we witnessed the same anti-social behaviour from unruly teenagers? The crimes are the same, only the faces change.

Not only have these youngsters no respect for authority, but the public hasn’t any respect left either with these so-called courts of ‘justice’.

Whatever happened to the wise, centuries old saying ‘nip it in the bud’?

Of course these good citizens will say that their hands are tied. Untie them then – resign en masse!

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

Croquet club’s key role

Your report on the Moredon sports hub (SA, November 20) states that Swindon Borough Council has put up the matching funds which it hopes will materialise from British Cycling and the Football Association. The only mention of croquet is in a list of sports at the end of the report.

However, the Swindon Croquet Club has already invested around £130 000 into improving croquet facilities at Moredon and yet the borough council will not match this funding (less than 4 per cent of the total investment). The croquet club has been in existence since 1985, moving from Lydiard to Moredon in 1996. The facilities are maintained by club members at no cost to the public purse.

Croquet itself is a great fun game which demands skill and promotes good hand/eye coordination.

The Swindon Croquet Club is both competitive (having topped its division in the last two years but it has an ethos of community service. Over the years we have encouraged and supported many Swindon are community groups including the Parkinson’s Support Group and bereavement groups as well as running indoor croquet sessions for Healthy Lives at the Haydon Centre.

Our club secretary, John Airey, has designed and made mallets for wheelchair-bound people to play and we have done much to support a good lifestyle for the senior members of our community (including myself!). One aspect of this has been encouraging the Swindon Town Football Club Foundation’s ‘Extra Time’ project to take up croquet and this has been a great success. Through our charitable activities, we have regularly donated around £400 per year to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

While the council is prepared to provide substantial matching funding for cycling and football, that we certainly do not begrudge, the contribution of the croquet club to our society and our investment has not been recognised.

This is a disgrace and surely the borough council can provide the modest the funds to match our own investment in the Moredon facilities and recognise the valuable role that the Swindon Croquet Club plays in our community.

Tony Mayer, Haydon Wick

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