Plea for cameras in murder district

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The Independent Online
A Home Office minister called yesterday for closed-circuit television to be installed in the Leeds district of Chapeltown following the murder of a motorist, Stevan Popovich.

"Had it been in place already there is strong possibility that at least one of the cameras would have assisted in the identification of the culprit," said Timothy Kirkhope, MP for Leeds North East.

The Yugoslav-born Mr Popovich, 74, a retired bus driver, died after being mugged when he stopped to ask directions in Chapeltown on Saturday morning. He was due to meet friends before travelling to a charity meeting in Leicester.

Mr Kirkhope said he had the backing for the CCTV scheme from West Yorkshire police and the local council, although two local Labour councillors opposed it. The first cameras would be fitted after May when the Home Office decides whether to fund the pounds 300,000 project under its Challenge Competition.

The MP talked of his shock at "this foul and disgusting murder" as the dead man's widow Dragica, 65, appealed from her home in Shaw, near Oldham, Greater Manchester, for help in catching the killer.

Her husband recently had a sister killed in the fighting in his former homeland and Mrs Popovich said: "It makes it difficult that with all the trouble there he should die like this."

Police appealed to any motorists or bus passengers in the area at around 8.20am on Saturday to contact them.