I read with interest and some concern Edward Rudolph's response to Ron Pollard's letter asserting that the 'fear of crime is worse than the crime itself'(Observer, January 29).

I have read carefully both letters. Ron Pollard's letter clearly sets out not only his concerns with regards to serious crimes in Pinner and Harrow, including the tragic death of the 81-year-old victim, but also provides other recent examples of serious crimes of violence, including stabbing, mugging, a rape in Pinner as well as drug-related crimes. Mr Pollard pointed out that he was 'unwilling to go out at night'.

Mr Rudolph's letter refers to Mr Pollard's contribution as being 'very alarmist' and the murder of the elder-ly lady as an 'unfortunate incident'. He goes on to say that Mr Pollard 'took an opportunity to cause alarm and despondency, at the same time quite unjustifiably venting his spleen on the local police'.

Frankly, having worked closely with Ron over many years, I say with confidence that he is a well-respected person whose quality of commitment and lead role for the Harrow Crime Prevention Panel (HCPP) on drug-related issues is not in question. He has spent more time than most in supporting the police verbally and in writing. But he has the courage to speak out and stand for people when necessary, and share any concerns he has on police or policing issues local or otherwise.

Those of us who have had the privilege of serving our community for many years, recognise improvements are more likely to be achieved not being offensive to those with whom we disagree but by listening and learning from each other and moving forward together in the best interest of our community.

The HCPP and myself have been recipients of a letter from the police not dissimilar to Mr Rudolph's write-up, criticising us, being alarmists and critical of the police.

As founder of Harrow Victim Support 26 years ago and its chairman for 21 years, I can assure Mr Rudolph that it is absurd to suggest that 'fear of crime is worse than crime itself'.

Having worked with victims who can suffer deep trauma and hurt that can affect their lives and families for years, I say that to equate fear with crime in that way is arrant nonsense.

I thought it significant that Ron Pollard and Edward Rudolph are both members of Harrow Police and Community Consultative Group and yet found it necessary to use the newspapers to highlight their concerns.


Vice-president Harrow Crime Prevention Panel

Rosslyn Crescent Harrow