Changing times

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Insp James Revitt’s letter on police dog training was interesting and I find myself in full support of his point that the person bitten by the dog simply should not have been there, it was a restricted area.

It’s just a pity that we are back to one rule for them and another for us.

A few years ago my son’s house was burgled. After a row with the police I eventually persuaded them to visit and take a bit of interest. As a result they caught the guy (well done).

I commented that it was a pity he did not have a big dog that could have bit the burglar. I was told in no uncertain manner that if that happened he would have been charged with having a dangerous dog.

I pointed out it would have been on private property and to an intruder.

They said it was not Joe Public’s right to have a dangerous dog and a dog that bit a burglar was a dangerous dog and they would not hesitate to prosecute.

Fortunately I think things are changing and we are getting some rights back. As far as I am concerned Insp Revitt is right; but it should also be just as right for Joe Public for exactly the same reason. A home is a private place.

Eric Richardson, Sheffield

South Yorkshire Police urged residents to ‘leave on the lights when they are out - to avoid making life easy for burglars’ (Dec 10).

Insp Ian Stubbs, also commented that ‘dark nights are a burglar’s dream’, which is disturbing as there is no unbiased evidence to support that lighting deters crime.

External lighting can’t relay any information as to whether a home is occupied or not, however, leaving lights on inside may deter a wrong-doer by making a place look occupied, assuming that curtains are not wide open to allow a burglar to see that a house is empty.

Outdoor lighting actually helps criminals see what they are doing. Someone flashing a torchlight around would draw attention to themselves.

Finally, if lighting is such an effective deterrent against crime, why don’t insurance companies give discounts for installing security lighting.

R Jackson