THE town of my birth, Boston in Lincolnshire, hit the national news headlines in a dramatic way last week.
It seems that six eastern Europeans were illegally producing vodka, with five of them dying as an explosion ripped through the industrial unit they were allegedly using as their distillery.
When I worked there in the 1980s it was still pretty much as it was designed centuries ago - a market town with an unusual parish church, “The Stump”, and a nearby dock. Boston-born men called each other “duck” as a term of endearment and many worked on the land.
But the potatoes they and migrants picked, and that many of us enjoy for tea, have more recently been used as an ingredient for the “moonshine”.
Setting aside the grief of the dead men’s families, there are the questions of public safety and cost. Police had previously discovered illicit booze that could have blinded those who drank it.
Now officers (and ultimately council tax payers) are faced with a costly investigation.
Then there was the incident in Castleford when thieves cut copper cable from an overhead power line, resulting in an explosion that damaged six terraced houses.
We are living in tough economic times but such dangerous and illegal behaviour puts innocent people’s lives at risk.
And, sad to say, things can only get worse as the criminal mind dreams up even more devious ways to make a fast buck without paying tax.