YEP Says, May 19: A reminder of the everyday courage of police officers

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Suzanne Hudson was on just her sixth shift as a frontline police officer when she and her colleague Richard Whiteley were called to what seemed a routine incident in Headingley.

SUZANNE Hudson was on just her sixth shift as a frontline police officer when she and her colleague Richard Whiteley were called to what seemed a routine incident in Headingley.

It turned out to be anything but. Resonding to a complaint from a neighbour, Suzanne was blasted with a shotgun when she knocked on the door of gunman James Leslie’s flat.

Pulled to safety by her quick-thinking colleague, callous Leslie goaded them before riding off on his bike. He is now where he belongs – behind bars.

As for the officers, they fully deserve their West Yorkshire Policing awards. Richard for acting without any regard for his own safety by challenging Leslie and providing first aid to a colleague in need. Suzanne for the remarkable bravery and resilience she has shown since the shooting, which left her with life-changing injuries.

A reminder of the threats that face police officers on a daily basis, such incidents inevitably trigger calls for them to be armed.

But such calls must be resisted. Arming our police forces would undermine the principle of policing by consent that is the bedrock of law and order in this country.

Overall gun crime, too, remains low. The question we have to ask is whether giving officers guns would drive it even lower. Evidence from around the world suggests the opposite would be the more likely result.

Theft of memorial trees is new low

PLANTED in memory of loved ones, the idea was that they would take root and grow into enduring memorials to those who are no longer with us.

Yet 10 tree saplings planted at Golden Acre Park have been stolen, leaving families devastated.

It is a despicable crime and makes you wonder if there are any depths to which some individuals won’t stoop.

The trees in memory of loved ones will be replaced and additional security measures are being considered.

But what a sad world we live in when such measures are needed at all.

Chris Miller by his graffiti in East End Park.

YEP Says: Work of art Leeds? Or an ugly scrawl?