Leader: ‘They deserve our scorn and condemnation’

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IT IS easy to underestimate the devestation that bogus callers leave in their wake

These con artists may not provoke the same level of public opprobrium as drink drivers, for example, tend to do, but they deserve every bit as much of our condemnation and scorn.

These parasites give nothing to society. They don’t pay taxes or carry out useful work.

They make their living by preying on the vulnerable, scamming decent people who have worked hard all their lives for what they have got. All too often, the money that bogus callers get away with is the nest egg which their victims have built up over a lifetime.

But it is not just financial hardship that bogus callers create – the psychological damage can be even greater.

Those who fall victim to their clever ruses – like victims of housebreaking – can be left 
feeling insecure in their own homes. It is an extremely distressing and destabilising experience.

Police Scotland’s crackdown on bogus callers has to be warmly welcomed. Anything that we can do to make life more difficult for these odious criminals has to be very worthwhile.

Boxing clever

like fish and chips on a wet bank holiday weekend, the red telephone box is an instantly recognisable part of our national life.

Since they were created 89 years ago – following a design competition organised by the grandly-
titled Royal Fine Arts Commission – we have taken them to our hearts.

But when was the last time you used one to make a telephone call? The answer to preserving these architectural treasures was clearly to reinvent them. And that is what the people of Athelstaneford and Portobello have done with great imagination and community spirit. That means they are sure to continue brightening up our streets – and lives – for years to come.