The dignity displayed by the family and friends of Sian O’Callaghan does them great credit, as does the generosity of spirit evidenced by Karen Edwards, the mother of Becky Godden-Edwards. I am sure that every resident of the town will consider a 25-year term of imprisonment to be the best legal outcome which could be hoped for.

However, one of the worrying aspects of this case has been the attitude of the police to their legal obligations under PACE. The Act may well be perceived as an unwelcome restriction on the ability of officers to ‘do their job’ but that is the same with many pieces of legislation.

The fact is that legislation, often seemingly imperfect, exists for a reason, in this case to protect the citizen and the police. It has been said the need for such rules as set out in PACE are the result of inappropriate actions or a plain disregard of the previous rules by ‘over enthusiastic’ officers, all of whom considered the ‘ends justified the means’. Such action is always likely to result in miscarriages of justice. Equally disturbing is the fact that Acting Chief Constable Geenty claims he ‘hoped he would make the same decision as the Senior Investigating Officer’; in other words he would disregard his Constables Oath and when he felt it appropriate ‘break the law’.

I suggest that is hardly an inspiring statement from a senior commander, especially one charged with ensuring the rules are adhered to and that officers work within the rules.

I wonder how the assistant Senior Investigating Officer feels? After all his view was the correct one, he had the courage to point out to his superior officer the dangers inherent in any move to disregard PACE and yet he was summarily over-ridden.

I hope his colleagues recognise how difficult it must have been for him to ‘quote the rules’ when others were prepared to disregard them on grounds of ‘expediency’.

The consequences of the Senior Investigating Officer’s actions may well be that no one will ever be charged with the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards, justice for her will be forever denied. Perhaps some will say the chance of finding Sian alive after being missing for a week was worth the ‘risk’ of prejudicing a future trial, that may well be the case; but once the police adopt the right to determine which bits of PACE to accept and which parts to ignore we should all feel a little less safe.

Des Morgan Caraway Drive Swindon

Reverting to type

I was really impressed by the boldness of one of the town’s Conservative MPs using a picture of the Labour Leader Ed Miliband to start his column the other day. However, he soon reverted to unsubstantiated accusations within a few column inches. His reaction to the mass sackings by his friends on Swindon Council was typical of a member of the ‘nasty party’.

The naivety of the town’s MPs is mirrored by their leader, David Cameron. He makes up policy which may produce a sound-bite but has no substance whatsoever. At the conference he said that a householder could use force to defend their home as long as that force wasn’t “grossly disproportionate”. Time will show that this is a meaningless phrase and courts will fall back on the current “reasonable”.

Only the other day he pronounced on energy prices saying that we are all going to put onto the lowest tariff. With many customers on duel fuel and direct debit discounts, which may be withdrawn, this may lead to a price increase!

More worrying is the bullying that led to a computer hacker in the USA being allowed to stay in this country and avoid extradition. Of course Clegg and Cameron both gave pledges when in Opposition about this. They may find the genie they have let free from the bottle may be used by terrorists who wish to stay here.

Bob Pixton Sedgebrook Swindon

...Get them out

I have always had an interest in politics, not always voting for the same party. If I think the incumbent government is not doing what is best for our country even if I voted them in, I will not hesitate to vote them out. It is called democracy. Colloquial term: the old heave-ho.

The issues that we think are the most important regarding the future of our nation have been taken by them as seriously as a pride of lions would take on an attack by a toothless rabbit tied to a tree.

I have now ceased to watch or listen to David Cameron or any other politicians on TV. What is the point in believing any of their manifestos or their rhetoric when they have all proved after gaining power, to have more faces than the Greek mythological Hydra? It was generally recognised to have nine. When you cut off one of its heads it grew another two.

I can never ever remember so many inept, deceitful, self interested, out of touch with real life and public opinion, chancers under the same roof.

What Cameron should have said was, “Remember we are all in this alone.” The librarian in the House of Commons has confirmed the most read books by MPs are their own cheque books.

Bill Williams Merlin Way Swindon