Gazette letters: Summer sun, O’Malley the cat, crime and organ donation

Terrapins spotted abandoned on our waterways after outgrowing tanks in the home [photo: Jack Perks]

Terrapins spotted abandoned on our waterways after outgrowing tanks in the home [photo: Jack Perks] - Credit: Canal & Rivers Trust

In this summer heat, time slows down, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

This may not be strictly true according to the laws of physics, but I can assure you I've been keeping an eye on the overripe orange rowan berries and purple cherries suspended heavily on the end of the trees down Mildmay Grove, and the heat has frozen them in motion.

The foliage is bursting and cannot seem to shed its fruit - it is a scene of summer gluttony, birds greedily feasting on it.

It's not just birds who are over-indulging.

As the school holidays set in, the streets swarm with hormones of bored teenage courting and late-night cavorting.

The echoes of group shrieks ring down Hackney's streets only slightly deadened by the thick summer canopy [yep, this kept me awake on Tuesday, too - ed].

Pets lounge in the shade and the terrapins on New River Path bake themselves slowly on the straw bales.

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It is a season of excess and increasingly hard not to join in with the reclining mood.

Best seize this couple of weeks' respite whilst we can.

As yet another government enters Westminster, the natural world is likely to fall down the priority list once again.

We'll have our work cut out to ensure that, in the political tumult, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the nature we rely on are not left behind.

Though I am not a local resident of Hackney, I live in Southwark, I was still nonetheless horrified and appalled at the wicked attack on the lovely black and white cat - O'Malley in Clapton, writes Teresa Lloyd, Redman House, Lant Street.

It sent shivers down my spine when I first read the story.

I felt really sorry for the elderly housebound owner and and her daughter Christine Smith.

I have downloaded all the good clear images of O'Malley in his traumatised state wearing his blue neck collar and sent them to the House of Commons so they can see for themselves what these thugs have done. It is about time the law changed.

Youngsters with nothng better to do with their time will think twice if they get five years prison sentence for abuse like this.

I have two rescue cats myself - the first came from Caring For Animals, based in Essex back in February 2018, the second I adopted from the RSPCA Southall Cattery so I have a lot of connections already.

This was a really sad case. O'Malley will now have to live with just one eye for the rest of his live, all because some thugs wanted to play with air guns.

I would have them hung, drawn and quartered.

The causes of violent crime are multi-faceted and complex, and we know that these have been compounded by the government's £1 billion cut to the Met Police's budget by 2023, writes Jennette Arnold OBE, London Assembly Member for North East (Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest).

But it has no place in London, and we must do everything in our capacity to stop it in its tracks.

This must include being tough on the root causes of crime.

This week, City Hall shone a spotlight upon the specific and significant link between poverty and violent crime.

It is something that is widely acknowledged, but not talked about nearly enough on the public stage.

From City Hall, the mayor is addressing this issue through the roll-out of a £45million Young Londoners Fund, as part of his wider public health approach model.

There's no escaping the need for the government to confront the empirical reality that violent crime is one of the side-effects of their programme of austerity.Of course, there is no excuse for criminality.

We now need everyone - communities, the police and politicians - to play their part in tackling these vile acts.

We're incredibly grateful to all the courageous donors and their families across the country, who helped us to save so many lives last year, writes Anthony Clarkson, director, Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant.

Organ donation is the only hope for many desperately ill people. We know many families feel a sense of pride and comfort from their decision to let their final act to be saving lives through organ donation.

No lifesaving transplant would be possible without the generosity of every donor and their families, who give their support and say "yes" to organ donation.

There are 1,288 people in London waiting for a transplant now.

Their only hope for a new life is that a family in their time of grief will make the wonderful decision to agree to organ donation.

With the law around organ donation changing in England from next spring, we urge everyone to find out about the choices available to them, make their decision and share it with their family.

If you would like to help others after your death tell your family your want to be an organ donor and join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

-It's your choice whether or not you want to donate your organs. Please register your decision by visiting NHS Organ Donor Register and ensure you tell your family: