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Cops rapped for trendy posters

Critics tore into a British police force which erected placards in "trendy" text message-style patois in what was slammed as a "bizarre" attempt to get hip with the kids, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 17:36 IST
AFP
AFP
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Critics tore into a British police force which erected placards in "trendy" text message-style patois in what was slammed as a "bizarre" attempt to get hip with the kids, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Avon and Somerset Police plastered baffling messages across rough estates in Bristol, southwest England, to warn young people to curb their anti-social behaviour, the Daily Mail said.

But critics reckoned the masterminds behind the campaign should have their own collars felt for coming up with gobbledegook signs more likely to command derision from out-of-control louts than new-found respect for the law.

"D bil cum arnd hre n wl vzit ur olds if ur messin bout," reads one, which could be translated as "The police patrol this area and will pay your parents a visit should they find that you are misbehaving."

Another reads: "du ur olds knw whr U r o wot ur doin coz D bil wl tel em."

This is probably enquiring of street thugs: "Do your parents know where you are or what you are doing because the police will tell them."

Ian Anderson, executive director of the charity Avon Youth Association, which runs a drop-in centre in the area, said the logic behind the signs was beyond him.

"The police seem to be falling over themselves to appear trendy when the simple truth is a sign written in plain English would get the message across just as well if not better. It's bizarre."

Retired local resident Elsie Allison, 68, said: "I don't think the police are gaining any respect from this kind of notice."

However, Avon and Somerset Police insisted they knew what they were doing.

"They are written in a text message format to try to appeal to the young people thought to be behind the anti-social behaviour as a means of bringing it to an end.

"This was considered the best way to reach out to these people."

Prime Minister Tony Blair has made restoring respect and fighting anti-social behaviour a key pillar of his term in office.

He recently blasted off some graffiti with a power hose to hammer the message home.

First Published: Jan 28, 2006 17:36 IST