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New police college is just another white elephant

After the recent and alarming spate of car-jacking, the public reaction and the calls for an increased police presence are understandable. It will, however, fall on deaf ears.

I noted that last year, there was no local police recruitment procedure at all.

The PSNI website now seems to suggest that no recruiting competition will be run in 2012, either.

What puzzles me is why we are proposing to spend £140m on a new police college in Cookstown. Who are we going to train?

I did hear a suggestion that we could be training FBI recruits, but that seems ludicrous.

While the FBI might have had something to learn from the RUC, I am at a loss as to what they might glean from the PSNI, other than possibly how to face down vicious rioters using nothing stronger than harsh language.

Would it not be better to lash a few gallons of magnolia emulsion onto the existing college at Garnerville and use the £140m to train and pay for a few new squads each year?

Then we might at least have a visible police (such as they are) presence on the ground to deter car-jackers and those who prey on the elderly and the vulnerable in general.

However, I am not holding my breath, as those who planned the Cookstown college are probably the same team that planned other white elephants at the taxpayers' expense. They are unlikely ever to be held to account for their folly.

BRIAN GIBSON

Comber, Co Down

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