Club Cricket Conference

Wednesday, 22nd May 2024

Crime-hit Idle CC get lucky break from camera

By Charles Randall

7 January 2102

The decision by Idle CC to install CCTV at their clubhouse paid off when an alert police officer recognised one member of a gang who smashed open a padlocked safe and trophy cabinet. This was the Bradford League club's third burglary in a year.

Idle -- their history could boast Jack Hobbs as professional for three seasons from 1915, once opening the innings with Wilfred Rhodes -- had already been badly hit by crime before the loss of a number of trophies and £1,500 in cash, not to mention a wrecked clubroom.

Fortunately one of the thieves was recognised from CCTV footage by a police sergeant as a local rugby league player. Dean O'Toole, 18, was arrested and he admitted the offence at the local magistrates court. At least seven of the stolen trophies were recovered.

According to the club steward David English, there was concern that some of the trophies would be sold for scrap metal. He said: "Some of those trophies were very old -- the club’s been here since 1906. They would have been irreplaceable."

The cost to Idle of putting bars up at the windows and fitting CCTV was crippling, but they had no choice. "We are struggling anyway, and the insurance has gone up," said English. "It’ll get to the stage when they won’t insure us and then we’ll have to shut."