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Dear Mr Straw - Police Bias

December 1999

Dear SUN,

I have sent the following letter to the Home Secretary, Jack Straw in the hope that by referring to the "police image" there might at least be an enquiry as to what it is all about which might discomfort Downer & Co. When two or three (letters) are gathered together... maybe another might help?

Ron Kermode

Dear Mr Straw


The esteem in which the police are held has diminished greatly since we were young, owing to failure to control the bad apples so the whole force has been tarnished. It is therefore important that current behaviour is beyond reproach.

There is a dispute at Studland where the National Trust is moving to ban nudists from an area they have used for 75 years. Police are involved in patrolling to prevent breaches of law, and should not be involved in acting as National Trust agents. 

However, I hear that, while the residents of Swanage have to suffer fly posters on empty shops, police officers have been engaged in removing such posters from "marker posts" at Studland Beach, presumably at the behest of the National Trust. It was the National Trust who installed the posts as part of its drive to get rid of nudists by harassment, and by deliberately fomenting complaints by routing non-nudists near and through the area which nudists have long used (without serious complaint, until the National Trust intervened).

If this is true then it makes a mockery of Inspector Downers claim of even-handedness and if the local police are not in the National Trust's pocket this is nevertheless the impression given. 

Ron Kermode

Well done Ron! In another letter, parts of which appear elsewhere in this issue, Ron tells me that he will forward any reply he gets from the Home Secretary. He wrote his letter in August, but at the time of writing (late November) he had not yet heard.

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