OPINION

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CRACK CRIME ON THE BUS

We are pleased to see our police force getting on the bus to solve crimes. Undercover officers have been working with bus companies to identify passengers causing anti-social behaviour, damaging vehicles or failing to pay the correct fares. These criminals are intimidating and have usually disappeared by the time law-abiding passengers can report them. So it is good to see the police take the initative and tackle the troublemakers at the scene of the crime.

SAMARITANS SO RELEVANT

In times of a crisis, it is reassuring to know you have somewhere to turn. No matter what your circumstances, the Samaritans offer a ray of hope and for that we should all be grateful. In Sheffield, the organisation is celebrating its 50th anniversary after starting with just two phone lines. Last year, it took 16,000 calls from people in crisis. We are delighted that the branch is still going strong after 50 years, with volunteers each willing to offer at least 13 hours a month. That is some commitment and one worth honouring because in these difficult times, it is important that people have somewhere to turn to, anonymously and in total confidence, without the risk of being judged.

MARY BEATS THE RED TAPE

American Mary Lyons-Fletcher knew where to turn after having her visa application rejected. Action Desk was able to beat the red tape and ensure she could be with the man she has been married to for 25 years. Her situation was ridiculous as recognised by 500 people in Killamarsh who signed a petition saying they wanted her to stay. But faced with the bureaucrats, her situation seemed daunting. Fortunately, Action Desk got Mary in touch with the right department in New York and suddenly the doors to this country were open. Welcome Mary, enjoy your new home.