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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 17:10 GMT
'Santa cops' on patrol in Manila
Philippine policemen arrange their Father Christmas hats in Manila (04/12/2007)
The police hope the hats will bring them closer to the public
Police officers wearing Father Christmas hats have been on patrol in the Philippine capital, Manila.

Officials say the festive police force is being deployed in busy shopping areas to "maintain the peace" in the run up to Christmas.

The police are hoping that the move will bring them closer to the public.

Residents are reported to be mostly in favour of the idea, as long as the officers continue to carry out their police work.

"We want to make sure our people celebrate the Christmas season peacefully, free from crime incidents," said Geary Barias, director of the capital's police force.

"Our targets will be petty criminals like pickpockets and 'hold-up' men preying on holiday shoppers," he told the Enquirer newspaper.

Pedestrian Dennis Perez told the Associated Press he liked the idea.

"This serves as a reminder that Christmas is coming and we should have peace," he said.



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