CT RILEY says his “sources” show that defunding the police has increased crime in the US (HAS, Aug 20).

They don’t. They show an increase in crime, but they do not establish a link with “defunding”.

Over the last 20 years, the price of beer has increased by 85 per cent. Over the same period, I have lost around 85 per cent of the hair off the top of my head. This does not show that increasing the price of beer causes baldness.

If defunding has caused an increase in crime, how does Mr Riley explain the fact that crime has also risen in cities where police funding has increased? Besides, the so-called “defunding” has been very modest, usually amounting to less than five per cent of the police budget being re-allocated to social services, mental health, violence prevention etc.

Mr Riley then repeats his evidence-free claim that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is used in American schools to “promote racial division and race hate”.

The panic about CRT began when Donald Trump re-tweeted a tweet by a liar and conman who described CRT as “the greatest threat to Western civilisation.”

As one commentator put it: “Just the president retweeting a complete lunatic on a subject neither of them knows the first thing about.”

If readers (including Mr Riley) are interested in knowing more about CRT, I recommend visiting snopes.com, a US fact-checking service similar to Britain’s excellent fullfact.org. Search Snopes for “What is critical race theory?”

Pete Winstanley, Durham.

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