Red-faced officials at the Royal Dorset Constabulary have been forced into full retreat yet again as it emerged that a Christmas card sent out from the force on behalf of Chief Constable Sir Rising Crimewave has once more featured the photograph of a man who is NOT Sir Rising.
For the second time this year, the RDC's Department of Communications and Public Relations has mistaken veteran actor Raymond Francis [best known for his role as the indomitable Chief Inspector Lockhart in the 1950s TV drama series No Hiding Place] for their own Chief Constable. Lady Crimewave is said to be "furious and upset" after conceding that "Mr Francis is a much better looking man, a better actor and overall probably a better catch". [She later conceded privately to friends ".. and Mr Francis even looks like a competent policeman".]
A spokesperson for the Department admitted that "We've done it again and in fairness, it's an easy mistake to make. In reality, we don't see much of the Chief Constable who tends to breeze in, bollock us for some cock-up or other and breeze out. When we need a photograph of him and our stock files aren't suitable, we just google him and use the picture which we think best matches the mood. This time we were looking for "stern but approachable, always-on-duty but relaxed enough to celebrate Christmas". And it had to look right against a police car action background. This one fitted the bill [no pun intended] so we downloaded and used it. It's just a pity it's not him because we were well-pleased with the overall result... He wasn't, of course".
Sir Rising himself has yet to comment on the incident. A close colleague said that the Chief Constable was far too busy fighting crime to concern himself with such matters. "He will probably be completely unaware of the kerfuffle, at least until he gets home. Then he will hear about it alright... Thinking about it, I should probably book him his usual room at the Casa Enrique Trave-Lodge. Fortunately, he's got plenty of bonus points to use up."