A cunning Christmas ruse by police that tricked wanted criminals into handing themselves in with the false promise of a free Christmas hamper has been hailed a success.
Detectives from South Yorkshire Police launched covert Operation Holly in a bid to put people facing charges for offences, some serious, before the courts.
The team sent bogus cards to suspects on the force's wanted list giving them the good news that they had been specially selected to receive a free hamper.
A basket of goodies, including bottles of bubbly, wine treats and a Christmas pudding, appeared artfully arranged on the convincing flyer that promised to bring 'cheer at Christmas and memorable moments to your special occasions!'
In order to collect the freebie from Herald Hampers – the force's festive front – all they had to do was arrange a delivery slot.
But when the door bell rang, instead of being greeted with a basket of goodies they were arrested and packed off to court.
In two days Operation Holly racked up 21 arrests, with some of the suspects wanted in relation to burglary, supplying an illegal article into prison, assault and fraud.
It's the holiday timing of the malicious bastard who dreamed this up that makes this so delicious. And the flyer's promise to "bring memorable moments to your special occasions!'? Priceless. Surely a knighthood is in order.