I thought it was called the English Channel
Stunned locals have been warned that the Tour could bring with it a crime wave at the hands gangs of thieves. Residents are being urged, among other measures, ‘to consider digging a trench’ across their driveway to stop criminals with vehicles gaining access to their land.
The warning, circulated on the internet and by email, also claims the area’s low crime rates could be ‘decimated over a couple of days’ unless action is taken.
The first two stages of the Tour de France – dubbed the Grand Départ – are being held in Yorkshire on Saturday and Sunday before the race moves on to London, bringing in millions of pounds of extra revenue for local businesses.
However, the controversial email – attributed to Harrogate neighbourhood watch chairman Keith Roberts and Sergeant Bob Chambers of North Yorkshire Police – warns that ‘with the significant increase in numbers of visitors and enthusiasts there is evidence that there will be many criminals amongst them’.
It continues: ‘Our enviable record of the lowest level of criminality could be decimated over a couple of days unless we can support our police.
‘The amateur thief can gain access to your property if doors or windows are left unlocked or open – keep them locked even if you are at home.’And ‘rural members’ have been told thieves with vehicles could steal quad bikes and other valuables. ‘If it is feasible do consider digging a trench across points of entry or creating other obstructions,’ the email advises.