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Letters / Why the sudden need for high profile police action?

Tuesday was Up Helly Aa day, thus few would have noted a national headline: the national body for police chief constables has issued an official apology for the police failures that led to the unlawful killing of 97 people in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

To recap – it was 34 years ago – a new police chief with no knowledge of such events, ignored experienced colleagues and insisted on doing things his way.

I cannot help comparing this to the plethora of blue lights and hi-vis on Tuesday morning. For many decades the proceedings during the day have been carried out safely and efficiently thanks to the low key activities of marshalls, roads department and police.

The most dangerous aspect of the daytime procession has been the risk of being poked in the eye by a paper axe waved by an excited four year old. Why the sudden need for high profile police action?

No doubt the galley boys will, next year, install a flashing blue light at the mast head and high vis stripes down the side.

Oh! And a platform in front of the mast for the chief inspector to direct operations.

John Waters


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