EU policing cooperation is vital

Recent media headlines have been dominated with news of the reopening of our pubs after months of lockdown last Saturday and obscured a vital and significant policing breakthrough against organised crime.

Thanks to international co-operation with French intelligence, British police forces have been able to read the encrypted phone messages of criminals whose evil activities destroy so many lives every day and make millions of pounds from causing misery and distress.

This collaboration with our neighbours and the European arrest warrant assure justice can be served on criminals who flee our shores, like the London tube bombers, and are par‎t of the security benefit delivered by European co-operation.

Terrorists, international gangs, cyber criminals and abusers have no respect for national boundaries. Recent developments in the desperately sad case of Madeline McCann's disappearance remind us of that.

I would urge this Government not to sacrifice this vital co-operation with our European neighbours on the ideological altar of their fanatical hatred of the EU which has delivered hard won security protection for Britain and the British people.

Our police and child protection agencies have seen a rise in domestic and sexual violence in "lockdown"‎. Parliament is finally considering new action on domestic violence and I am proud that the LibDems in Parliament have cross party support to recognise children as victims of domestic violence and to give proper protection to refugees and others who have made our country their home. I hope Parliament will pass both.

Liz Webster

Lib Dem

Police and crime commissioner candidate

Real story of slavery

I was amazed to read the letter from Peter Smith regarding the Slave Trade accusing someone else of a 'false story' about slavery.

I know I'm 68 going on 100 according to family and therefore sometimes make mistakes but I am very sure of my facts on the slave trade as I take immense pride in the brother of one of my ancestors who volunteered to join the British Royal Navy with the zeal of an British abolitionist against slavery.

He like many thousands joined up as soon as our government decided to stop the trade of slaves between African slavers and the traders from South America, Portugal and Spain by force with the establishment of the West African Squadron to patrol the coast.

It successfully stopped the journey into slavery of 150,000 souls.

The African tribes that traded in enslaving Africans were so incensed they sent delegations to London and Paris to plead their case.

I'm pretty sure there wasn't a Tory party around when the first slave trade to the new world between African slave traders and Portuguese slavers started in 1503, so why the writer is trying to bring them into his letter is lost on me.

Several excellent works were done on this subject by the late Martin Henry of Jamaica's University Technology who sadly passed away in 2019.

His work is though, still available, and his article Africa's role in slavery is a real eye opener for any un-biased observer.

Stuart Eels

John Aubrey Close

Yatton Keynell