Peer criticised for blaming Lancashire metal thefts on Bradfordians (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Peer criticised for blaming Lancashire metal thefts on Bradfordians
The leader of Bradford Council has hit out at a Government peer who blamed Bradford people for stealing metal and stone in cross-border raids into Lancashire.
Bradford-born Baron Greaves of Pendle told the House of Lords that, according to accounts from police, “raiding parties from over the border in Yorkshire often come and take away all this stuff.”
During a Parliamentary debate on the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill, Lord Greaves said police were concerned.
And when another lord objected to the assertions about Yorkshire people, the 70-year-old Oxford-educated Liberal Democrat peer told the House: “It is not Yorkshire as a whole that people blame: it is specifically people from Bradford.” Bradford Council leader, Councillor Dave Green, said he was not aware of the issue being raised with the council or West Yorkshire Police by Lancashire Police.
Coun Green said: “I find the comments a little insulting to the people of Bradford as a whole. Unless he has got evidence to back it up, maybe he should reconsider his statement.
“I don’t think it helps the debate about dealing with a specific issue that affects all councils.
“I am not saying there aren’t people who may go from Bradford to commit crimes in Lancashire, but it has not been raised with me as an issue by anybody from Lancashire.
“To be able to stand up and speak in either House of Parliament is a privilege, and it is a privilege that people should think about before making these sort of swingeing statements about the conduct of a whole community.”
Lord Patel of Bradford worked in Lancashire for 15 years and said: “I don’t think I stole anything, but I think I brought a lot of Yorkshire hospitality and knowledge to Lancashire.
“I have had a lot of ‘run-ins’ with Lord Greaves about Yorkshire and Lancashire. They were always friendly and he seemed to respect Yorkshire. I need to see the evidence to be persuaded that Bradford people are any more criminal than Lancashire people.”
A Lancashire Constabulary spokesman said Lancashire was targeted by travelling criminals from different areas.