YOU have to wonder if the police who broke up the vigil protest on Clapham Common last Saturday would have been so proactive if they had been dealing with brawny male thugs rather than defenceless women.

Probably not.

As it was TV coverage of the event included some of the most disgusting scenes I have ever witnessed. To say that the behaviour of the police was ill-judged and excessive would be an understatement.

In fact it was utterly appalling.

However, it did provide a telling illustration of precisely what the protest was about: the fact that some men clearly think it normal and acceptable to use violence against women.

What’s more it’s clearly an escalating phenomenon and with a police force and judiciary contaminated by such elements is that any wonder?

There’s been far too much complacency and head-in-the-sand escapism about this whole subject and it’s time for a fundamental re-think, however unnerving.

Tony Kelly, Crook.