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Paper brings peace of mind

“I dare not close my eyes at night”, was the emotive page one headline on a Hull Daily Mail splash about elderly burglary victim Kate Wilkinson.

Mrs Wilkinson, 73, was devastated after being targetted by thieves four times in four months. The burglars took her TV and video and even emptied her kitchen cupboards.

She wrote to her local evening newspaper in support of its Save Our Bobbies campaign – ironically on the same day that Home Secretary Jack Straw announced that Humberside Police would receive only enough funding for 74 of the 251 officers the force had requested.

Within hours of Mrs Wilkinson’s story appearing, generous readers called in with offers of replacement televisions and videos.

A local security company also sent engineers to install a state-of-the-art alarm in the pensioner’s home.

Mrs Wilkinson said: “When I wrote to the Mail, I was really down. I am feeling a lot happier now. It is nice to know that somebody cares. I can’t thank everybody enough.”

More than 1,000 readers have backed the Save Our Bobbies campaign.

With pressure still mounting, the paper reported this week that Hull councillors were supporting a one-off £1million grant to pay for more than 62,000 hours of police time – the equivalent of 30 extra officers – next year.

The grant proposal has to be ratified by tomorrow’s full meeting of Kingston upon Hull City Council.

Labour MP Ian Cawsey, who represents Brigg and Goole, will meet Jack Straw on Monday to highlight the plight of Humberside Police and plead for more cash for the over-stretched force.

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