CCTV thieves are shameless face of crime

WE have sadly become used to thieves stealing anything and everything – from the copper wire that lines our train tracks to the Yorkshire stone slabs in our graveyards.

Now we have a perfect illustration of the sheer brass neck of today's criminals with the revelation that thousands of pounds worth of CCTV cameras in and around Leeds are being stolen on an annual basis.

Such is the disdain for the law of those responsible that they often pilfer the cameras without even bothering to cover their faces, calmly unscrewing them from walls in the full knowledge that their every move is being beamed back to a control centre.

There have been at least three such thefts in the last week alone.

Raiders removed a trio of cameras worth 5,000 from an Education Department building in Armley, while a nearby construction firm in the same area and the Odeon cinema near Pudsey were also hit.

It is believed that the thefts are motivated by a sting which sees the cameras returned to the manufacturers as defective.

They are then replaced by brand new units which are promptly sold on to unsuspecting customers.

How bitterly ironic that a piece of kit designed to thwart thieves should itself spark a flourishing crime ring.

Surveillance technology was specifically designed to keep both ourselves and our property safe.

Yet now not even CCTV is sufficient to ward off criminal gangs. The sheer effrontery of it all really does take the breath away.

The question is what will be enough to keep these shameless thieves at bay?

Village drama

PLANE crashes, killer thunderstorms and exploding houses – the village of Emmerdale has had its fair share of dramas down the years.

Now an attack by a mystery arsonist has done for two of its long-standing residents in the shape of Viv Hope and Terry Woods.

It's a lot to take in for an apparently sleepy farming community in the heart of Yorkshire.

Thankfully, it's not quite on a par with the misery regularly served up on the other channel by that dreary lot from Albert Square.

Still, it does all make you feel rather glad – despite the undoubted beauty of the scenery and cosiness of The Woolpack – that you don't call the place home.

Watch the birdie

CHILDREN across the region are gearing up for this year's Big Schools' Birdwatch.

Organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, it will track the changes in Yorkshire's wild bird populations.

What a wonderful way to spark youngsters' interest in the wildlife that surrounds them.

Twitter may have been the success story of the last 12 months, but let's hope these kids discover that the original 'tweets' are still the best.

Andrew Cooper: Leeds - a city on an upward trajectory