YOUR headline 'Straw gets tough on hardened criminals' (LET, February 26) demonstrates the incompetence of the government in general and Jack Straw in particular.

Mr Straw has just discovered, after four years in his job, that a small minority of criminals are causing most of the crime.

Any 30-year-old average qualified manager, trained by the Institute of Industrial Managers for example and going into a new job, would immediately apply the by-now-ancient Pareto principle that 80 per cent of the problems are caused by 20 per cent of the procedures/machinery/workforce. This universal principle operates in all businesses, offices, management situations, etc, and was first suggested at least 50 years ago.

Part of the problem of any government, now and in the future, is that they tend to employ legal minds and make assumptions they have all the answers and as Mr Straw has demonstrated, they don't.

FRANK GLYNN, Old Bank Lane, Blackburn.