Angry pensioner in protest to Premier

PUBLISHED: 17:23 12 April 2007 | UPDATED: 13:56 04 May 2010

Iris Butcher and husband Ken who has written to Tony Blair.

Iris Butcher and husband Ken who has written to Tony Blair.

LITTLEPORT pensioner Ken Butcher was so incensed that Councillor Fred Brown was prosecuted for assaulting a teenager that he has written to Tony Blair. It is shameful that he was taken to court for defending his own property, said Mr Butcher, 66, of Sta

LITTLEPORT pensioner Ken Butcher was so incensed that Councillor Fred Brown was prosecuted for assaulting a teenager that he has written to Tony Blair.

"It is shameful that he was taken to court for defending his own property," said Mr Butcher, 66, of Station Road.

"Cllr Brown was right to do what he did. I give him my support. They should bring back the birch for cases like this.

"We have had endless problems in Station Road. Over the last three or four years, the kids have knocked down walls and caused around £30,000-worth of damage. People should have a right to defend their properties."

Mr Butcher's wife Iris, 64, and his daughter worked for Cllr Brown for seven years when he ran Littleport's Black Horse pub.

She said: "Fred used to employ the youngsters as waiters and waitresses in his pub. He was brilliant with them. I think he was entirely right in what he has done."

Former Littleport shopkeeper, Geoff Spinks, who ran businesses throughout Cambridgeshire for 33 years, said: "I have known Fred since 1970 and I am completely disgusted that he should be put in the hands of the police and have his fingerprints taken.

"I have run the newsagent's and sub post office in Littleport and convenience stores in Needingworth, Brampton, March and Cambridge and the police were not helpful in anyway whatsoever.

"I have sold all my shops now and I am pleased to be out of it. We got no help from the police force at all. You can see why Fred did what he did.

"We pay £750,000 out of our Council Tax in Littleport for the police and we only have Police Community Support Officers."

Littleport councillor, Daniel Murfitt, plans to nominate Cllr Brown for Littleport Parish Council's Citizen of the Year Award and he agreed policing in the town was not up to scratch.

"Policing has been on the wane for some time," he said.

Last year,he said he caught a youngster stealing diesel on his land and gave chase. He called the police at 11.30pm on Sunday night and the call was returned on Tuesday afternoon.

Ely Sector Inspector Adam Gallop said it was regrettable that Cllr Brown's experience in court had led to some condemnation of the police presence in Littleport.

"The fact is that Littleport is a safe area to live and work," he said. "Crime runs at a rate of one-and-a-half per day.

"Naturally, we are not complacent about that - it is one-and-a-half too many - but offending needs to be put in perspective.

"Littleport has a team of 14 neighbourhood policing officers and PCSOs, who also police Ely and the villages up to Sutton. They have help from Special Constables and teams of specialist units, such as firearms, dogs and the helicopter.

"The effectiveness of this approach to policing has been underlined in recent months by a number of cases, perhaps most notably the drugs' operation which led to a number of street dealers being given substantial prison sentences.

"I would also like to add that I remain extremely impressed and proud of the level of commitment shown by the officers that work from Ely police station, often working in tough and challenging conditions.

"Of course, I am concerned when members of the public feel that policing does not live up to their expectations and this is one key area to be tackled as Neighbourhood Policing develops.

"I encourage any person who has been assaulted to report this to the police. We will investigate all sides fully and impartially as we are duty bound to do, and I sincerely hope that the attention given to this one case does not reduce any confidence in reporting incidents to the police.

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