IN REPLY to the two letters (Postbag, March 2 and March 9) regarding the Edward Heath inquiry: In short, as much money as is needed, Mr Hall, and as long as it takes, Mr Blundell-Mein. Survivors of abuse deserve nothing less. How can you possibly put a price or time limit on the investigation of the most vile criminal act any human can do to a child, young adult or the vulnerable? Clearly you have both decided Sir Edward Heath was innocent without a full investigation.

You need to ask yourselves how would you feel if you had been abused and the perpetrator got away with it because the police didn’t spend time and public money to investigate? Or worse still, you were not believed? The fact is, very often victims do not report abuse because they fear they won’t be believed by anyone. This is also true of those whose job it is to report what they have heard, particularly if it is about “high profile” possible abuser. To be frank if all that upsets you gentlemen are noisy cars and bikes or coaches wrongly parked then all I can say is; how lucky are you? Survivors of abuse have to live with their abuse for all of their life. A ruined childhood, perhaps failure at school, dark secrets, lies to loved ones. A messed up life.

Remember Cyril Smith, (Sir) Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris (stripped of his CBE), ministers of the church and countless others sometimes perceived as pillars of society who have abused and were never investigated until many years later. Is it not beyond the realms of possibility that Sir Edward Heath was not investigated because of WHO he was?

The chief constable has a duty to investigate. He will need to prove that a complete and impartial investigation has taken place. The outcome should be made available to the public. Anything less will be seen as a cover-up or else perhaps not everybody does matter.

Jayne Hurst, Salisbury

Minor price

I READ with some amazement the letter from Mr Blundell-Mein regarding the money that is being spent investigating the allegations against Edward Heath.

He seems to think that riding scooters on pavements, noisy cars and coaches overstaying in the drop-off areas are more serious than allegations of serious offences against some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Is he saying that the impact of sexual abuse is less than being mildly annoyed for a fleeting moment in time?

I have professional experience of dealing with minor incidents as described by Mr Blundell-Mein and also serious sexual offences against children.

I can say with some degree of certainty that the impact on someone who has been sexually abused is enormously greater than that of hearing a noisy car pass by.

It’s ridiculous to compare the two and that’s why the allegations are worth investigating. No price is too high and after all it is the primary duty of police to investigate alleged crimes.

Anthony Griffin, Salisbury