TODAY we congratulate our bright boys in blue who are beating the criminals without even lifting a finger.

You've heard of sleeping policemen - well now let's hear it for reposing patrol cars.

Some canny cops are re-using clapped out police cars to deter thieves who fill up at petrol stations then zoom off without paying.

Apparently, the decoy vans - parked on the garage forecourt in full view of drivers filling up - look so real that would-be petrol thieves are thinking twice.

And we're happy to hear that our crafty cops in North Yorkshire have done the trick. Although the vans are completely empty - and the nearest policeman could be miles away - delighted garage owners say the number of thefts has fallen dramatically.

But on another transport theme, we are sorry to learn that the friendly folk who keep a watchful eye on our children - lollipop school crossing patrols - have been on the receiving end of road rage from impatient drivers.

Now the problem has led to a huge shortage of patrols - leaving thousands of pupils having to cross busy roads without supervision. Despite a nationwide recruitment campaign, there was a 17.5 per cent shortage of patrols.

Away from percentages, this means that 5,000 school crossing sites are now unmanned, which is quite unacceptable.

Road safety officers blame the unsociable hours and pay for the shortage, but we hear that lollipop men and women point the finger at aggressive drivers.

These patrols play a vital role in keeping our kids safe. So today, when you approach your local pupils' bodyguard, give them a break and don't get cross at a crossing.