IT is strongly advised by police and, indeed, it is just common sense, not to leave valuables on display in parked vehicles.

Although it was brought to the attention of the New Forest district council that there was a risk of cars being broken into in order to steal parking clocks', for either personal use of the criminal or for selling on at a profit, it was decided by the council that the clocks would not be "vehicle specific".

The council's website states that: "A clock is transferable, so is not vehicle-specific and no details are kept of purchasers of these clocks, to reduce administration."

Thus we have a situation where thousands of vehicles will be displaying untraceable clocks costing £80 each.

The question is, of course, are the criminally inclined going to purchase clocks from the council, or are they going to smash your car window and thus obtain one for free?

The latter option would appear the most obvious.

The council has been incompetent and negligent in this matter.

Your newspaper might perhaps feel inclined to invite victims to give you details of any damage done to vehicles as a result of thieves stealing these clocks.

A group action could then be mounted against the council for compensation, not only for the loss of the clocks but also for the considerable expense of repairing the resultant damage to vehicles.

It is, after all, the council that is solely responsible for putting so many innocent motorists at risk of theft, damage and inconvenience.

DAVID BRISTOW, Salisbury Street, Fordingbridge