It was with a sense of incredulity that I read the letters from Ron Pollard and Ross Simpson in the Observer of February 5, both in response to my letter in your January 29 edition.
Mr Pollard says that he doesn't know if I ever read his letter of January 22 - I'm not sure how I could have responded to it if I hadn't, but it is quite clear that both he and Mr Simpson failed to read my letter of January 29, or they would have noticed my use of the word 'tragic' in respect of a recent major crime.
I will not refer to this further, as, unlike Messrs Pollard and Simpson, I do not wish to be the cause of any further distress.
Both Messrs Pollard and Simpson draw attention to the fact that I failed to make any mention of the other crimes to which Mr Pollard had referred in his original letter.
This was quite deliberate as I had no wish to further sensationalise these incidents, thereby causing an unnecessary and unjustified level of fear and apprehension among local residents - Mr Pollard is quite capable of doing that on his own.
Mr Pollard also says that he didn't know if I attended the Harrow Police and Community Consultative Group (HPCCG) AGM on January 22. The answer is no, I didn't attend any meeting on that date as the meeting in question took place on January 26. I did attend the meeting on January 26, and I actually spoke at that meeting, as was reported in your columns on the 29th.
To use Mr Pollard's analogy, it would appear that, not only has he been wearing the wrong glasses, but the wrong hearing aid as well. I didn't speak to him because, when I looked for him after the meeting he had apparently scurried off into the dark, dangerous night of which he is so afraid.
Mr Simpson, in his letter, gives Mr Pollard a glowing character reference, which I have no doubt is correct in every detail. This record of public service does not, however, entitle Mr Pollard to write letters causing unjustified alarm and fear among the local populace. (Mr Pollard is old enough to recall that such activity was actually a criminal offence during the Second World War, which I am also old enough to remember).
I do agree with Mr Simpson that this issue should never have reached your columns, but had Mr Pollard not written his letter, I would not have felt the need to respond.
In closing, I would like to reassure your readers that Harrow is the second safest borough in the whole of Greater London and that, despite Mr Pollard's foreboding, they do not need to lock themselves in their homes shivering with fear at the prospect of what might be happening outside their doors.
I stand by everything I said in my letter of January 29, and very much hope that this debate will now continue behind closed doors.
EDWARD A RUDOLPH
Chairman Belmont Safer Neighbourhood Ward panel member Harrow police and community consultative group
Felbridge Avenue Stanmore