Make sure cyclists have insurance and license plates, and ban headphones

Reinforcements of health personnel

SIR – Among medical staff, vaccinated against Covid early, then deprived of a fourth dose, there has recently been a foreseeable increase in Covid-19 infections, coinciding with the lifting of the compulsory wearing of masks.

I have now succumbed for the first time, despite continuing to wear a surgical mask in all indoor settings, including on public transport.

Having retired and returned to clinical practice to help manage the backlog, I cannot continue to do so until my period of self-isolation is over. Why has the government decided not to offer healthcare workers the possibility of boosting their immunity in the spring, as soon as clinically vulnerable people have received their injections?

We relied on our ability to catch up over the summer, which I fear is now impossible.

Dr Sarah A Pape
Lanchester, County Durham

Unreported Burglaries

SIR – While a drop in burglaries may well be attributable to more widespread CCTV (Letters, June 23), I suspect it is also due to increased under-reporting.

The only reason to notify the police is to obtain a criminal reference for insurance purposes. If your claim is less than your insurance deductible, why bother?

I hope the National Council of Chiefs of Police does not confuse loss of public trust with improved operational effectiveness.

Michael Austin
Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Short of thinking

SIR – I find a problem with mirrors to be an example of things being made without regard to the size of those who will use them (Letters, June 23).

Most of my life I’ve been 5ft 1in. Wherever I stay – private homes, bed and breakfasts, hotels, rented cabins – the problem is invariably the same: I can’t see in mirrors, especially those in the bathroom.

I still feel like they were erected by men who are several inches taller than me. Please, owners, consider us shorties.

Carol Cardy
Oswestry, Shropshire

Monarchy in Jamaica

SIR – Your report on the Commonwealth conference referred to Prince Charles’ hope that there would be no ‘hard feelings’ if Jamaica or other nations abandoned the monarchy.

What was he thinking? There will be resentment from all Jamaicans who regard the constitutional monarchy as the bulwark of our democracy.

For selfish reasons, our prime minister, Andrew Holness, wants to take this stable form of government away from us, playing the race card and saying we must have our freedom.

We have been independent since 1962. The monarchy has provided much-needed investment. We have also benefited from courts inherited from Great Britain and appeals to the Privy Council in London for important decisions. Get rid of it all, and what’s left? Another failed republic of corrupt politicians who will soon be begging London and others for financial help.

Fortunately, Mr. Holness has to give us a referendum before change can happen. Then we will see if Jamaicans really want to abolish a system that has guaranteed our freedoms for a very long time. We expect the Prince of Wales to give the monarchists his firm support here.

Elizabeth Warner
Kingston, Jamaica

Disappearing Courts

SIR – In your report on the number of pending criminal cases, you say that 43% of magistrates’ courts have been closed in the last 12 years.

When I was a local bench member in 1998 there were 10 courts in Suffolk. Now there is only one. Local justice has been a great strength of our justice system for hundreds of years, as it is often helpful to know the area where crimes were committed or where the offender lived.

Magistrates’ courts do not need to be located in fancy buildings. In the past, some cases were heard in the back room of the local pub. More facilities are needed today, such as Wi-Fi, but there are many buildings where courts could be held and the backlog alleviated.

Dr. Richard Soper
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

iPhone label

SIR – The best place to “carry” an iPhone (Letters, June 24) is in your briefcase or purse, until (unless in an emergency) you get home or to your office. Other commuters, shoppers and pedestrians will appreciate it.

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