Children’s safety is paramount

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I READ with interest, and then growing alarm, your front page article highlighting Simon Reevell’s concerns around the visit of the Olympic torch relay to Dewsbury (Red tape a risk to torch relay, May 25).

It appears that Mr Reevell thinks that official bureaucracy, which is designed to maintain minimum standards of safety for children when in the care of their schools, will cause Dewsbury to appear disinterested or unenthusiastic about the forthcoming Olympic games in London.

The prospect of streets failing to be lined with thousands of cheering children as the symbolic flame is carried through our town risks damaging the sadly tarnished reputation of Dewsbury.

The reason for this problem? Schools may not have sufficient, reliable, adult helpers to have the required number of children per adult whilst away from the school premises.

Would Mr Reevell have our children inadequately supervised in the middle of crowds of an unpredictable size and made up of who knows who? I imagine school staff are already having nightmares at the prospect of trying to keep children under some sort of control amid the onslaught of hype that is being associated with the Olympics and now Mr Reevell wants to relax the regulations that allow children’s safety to be maintained.

This is, of course, an exciting opportunity for schools to be involved in a major event, but surely everyone would agree that it has to be done safely.

He has effectively forced the hand of the schools, by implying children will be scarred for life if they miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. How will he feel if one child is genuinely scarred for life as a result of his disregard for child protection regulations?

What kind of Olympic legacy does he want?

C PLUMPTON

Lees Hall Road

DEWSBURY