MAY I interrupt the escalating debate on smoking and use your column to write an open letter to parents in the Wycombe area?

I'd like to address those parents whose children arrive home with something that clearly does not belong to them.

In particular to those parents of the two teenagers, one of whom must have arrived home with a bicycle barely a year old, with a lock still attached, on the night of January 5, or the parents of those who arrive home last Monday with a micro-scooter.

Our neighbour saw one of the thefts and recognised the youths who had been carol-singing to our house.

As if to rub salt in the wound, they had gladly accepted my contribution to their funds.

We have previously held Easter egg hunts, enjoyed carol singers and the skeleton hanging on our door in October lets trick or treaters know it's safe to knock.

Sad to think that in truth these festivities are being used for an ulterior motive.

Name and address supplied