Recorder letters: GPS tagging, Brexit and animals abroad

PUBLISHED: 16:07 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:07 18 June 2019

GPS tagging on knife crime offenders is being brought to Newham. Picture: PA

GPS tagging on knife crime offenders is being brought to Newham. Picture: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Pilot to tackle re-offending extended to Newham

Unmesh Desai AM, London Assembly Member for City & East, writes:

Tackling re-offending is a key facet in our fight against rising violent crime. This is why it has been very positive to see City Hall recently increase its investment in this area.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is expanding upon a pilot scheme which has been operating in Lewisham, Croydon, Southwark and Lambeth, making it a requirement for knife crime offenders, deemed to be the most at-risk of re-offending, to wear a GPS tag after their release from prison as part of strict licence conditions.

I welcome the decision to roll this out to our borough and believe it will help to improve the rehabilitation of persistent offenders and protect victims. It should also enable the police to more effectively detect and prevent violent crime.

It is vital that we continue to come together as a community and cultivate a strong relationship with our local police teams. In this way, we will be playing our part in stopping more tragedies from occurring on our streets by sharing with officers any relevant intelligence and information that we might have.

No Deal doom not realistic

Will Podmore, writes:

Britain is in "pretty good shape" for a No Deal Brexit, according to the head of the Home Civil Service, Sir Mark Sedwill.

He said preparations for our leaving the EU without an agreement had advanced so far that "we were now in pretty good shape for it."

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In early March he told the cabinet that No Deal would trigger a 10 per cent spike in food prices, send businesses to the wall, damage the police's ability to keep people safe and plunge the economy into recession.

But in the weeks leading up to March 29 and since, the government has reached many formal and informal agreements with the EU. These agreements safeguard citizens' rights, security arrangements, students' rights, and measures to preserve the flow of trade, such as customs procedures at the Channel ports, landing rights for aircraft, permits for Eurostar, driving permits for hauliers, recognition of safety certificates, allowing live animals and animal products swift entry, etc. We have also reached trade agreements covering most of our exports to countries with which the EU has trade agreements.

We have become a member of the Common Transit Convention, so hauliers only need to make customs declarations and pay import duties when they reach their final destination.

Sir Mark has recognised these new facts, so he could truthfully tell the Institute of Government on June 13: "I think we're in pretty good shape for it. We did one of the most impressive pieces of cross-government work I've experienced in my career to make No Deal preparations in the run-up to the [original] March-April deadline."

So, fears of "crashing out" and of "cliff-edges" are out of date. Forecasts of economic doom are not realistic.

Women's Land Army tribute

Geoffrey Dennis, chief executive, SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad), writes:

As Britain prepares to mark 80 years since the start of the Second World War, I hope that the public will remember another significant anniversary - the formation of the Women's Land Army (WLA).

The WLA was reformed in June 1939, a few months before the outbreak of war, and filled the gap in the farm workforce left by the hundreds of thousands of men called up to fight.

At its peak in 1944, more than 80,000 female workers known as 'Land Girls' had joined.

The contribution made by the Land Girls and the working horses they worked alongside during the Second World War was monumental.

Britain imported over two-thirds of its food in 1939 and, during the war, Germany was sinking vast amounts of shipping, in an attempt to starve the country into submission. The Land Girls and the animals that stood side by side with them ensured this never became a reality. At a critical time in our history, the Land Girls and over half a million horses played a vital role in helping to feed the nation. By 1944, they were producing 70 per cent of our food.

Today, in developing countries worldwide, women continue to work very closely with working animals, which are fundamental to food production - pulling ploughs and transporting produce. These hardworking animals support the livelihoods of millions of families and SPANA is there for them, providing the veterinary treatment they urgently need.

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