Speaking from outside a Temporary Crime Scene Portacabin in Fifehead Neville, Dorset Police Chief Sir Rising Crimewave announced that in an unprecedented step ("given the extreme gravity of the situation") Dorset Police would be issuing a Naughty Advent Calendar, proceeds from the sale of which would go to the Fifehead Magdalen Tree Restoration Appeal.
"This is an unprecedented step", Sir Rising said, "but given the gravity of the situation here on the ground in Fifehead Magdalen, we think it appropriate that we make a significant gesture to show the criminals that whilst crime may indeed pay - and rather well in this case - it's neither nice nor clever. We wish to be the bigger men, to hold our hands up when they need to be held up, to shoulder responsibility when it needs to be shouldered and to stand up and be counted when we need to stand up and be counted".
In what was generally regarded as a moving but over-wrought speech, Sir Rising told the assembled crowd, "We shall fight them in the villages, we shall fight them in the garden centres, we shall fight them where they live and we shall fight them where the work. We will fight them in the fields and trees and we shall never tire. And a year from now, people will say never was so little achieved by so many in such a small and unimportant cause.* I cannot say that this is the end of the speech or even the beginning of the end of the speech, but it is the start of the beginning of the middle section which precedes the end which will follow if only we stick to our guns, stick to our task and stick to our principles."
Deputy Chief Constable Commander Reginald Backup then went on to announce the launch of the Official Dorset Police Naughty Advent Calendar; under the individual doors (or flaps) of which lie not the traditional chocolate morsel but rather a naughty picture. "Each houses an identikit photograph of a known local criminal together with a short eye-witness description and in what we hope will be a fun game for the dispirited public. Purchasers of the Calendar are asked to try to identity the suspects and suggest their possible whereabouts to the police".
Asked if this might be trivialising the work of crime officers, Commander Backup was clear: "Most assuredly but then it's the festive season and you have to lift the spirits somehow. Good God man these people have lost a tree. Lighten up and do something useful: stop whingeing and get cracking on the Calendar".
The Official Dorset Police Naughty Advent Calendar is available (priced £18) from all three Dorset Police Stations and from the larger branches of Threadstones.
* Later modified in the Press Release to "never was so much achieved by so many in such a large and important cause"
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New ideas and new technologies afford Police Authorities across the West Country opportunities to revolutionise crime fighting. Dorset Police are amongst those at the very forefront of the new wave policing. The Official Dorset Police Advent Calendar helps solve crimes whilst raising money for local good causes.