I WOULD like to know where Louise Broughton (Letters, August 8, 'Time to look to the East') gets her information.

Singapore, although a relatively safe country, is certainly not the safest in the world.

If you look on any chart depicting safe countries, both Denmark and Iceland come higher on the scale than Singapore. Both those countries have banned smacking and corporal punishment and they got rid of capital punishment in the 1920s. They have a society built on trust and invest in their young people, in welfare, education and health.

They also have a much more equal society than we do with no huge gap between the ridiculously rich and the ridiculously poor.

In Britain there has been such a reduction in funding for child services and youth work, it is not surprising we have a rise in crime.

The method of severe punishment described by Louise Broughton does not work; we need to prevent the crimes before they occur and we can only do this by working with young people in schools and communities. But, each year, public spending is cut so the services are decreasing.

The government has cut police, teachers, youth workers etc. Any remedial work in youth offenders' institutions which may turn young people's lives around has been slashed.

Louise Broughton says she's embarrassed. I would be very embarrassed to live in a country where they chop people's hands off as a form of punishment.

Karen Mason