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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007, 15:04 GMT
Online 'cop shop' to raise funds
Items from the Kent Police online shop
All the products on sale are police-themed in some way
A police force has spent 10,000 on setting up an online gift shop to try to raise funds for community crime prevention initiatives.

The Kent Police website is selling clothing, toys, models and gifts such as mugs and golf balls.

Children's T-shirts and baby bibs carry slogans like "I've been inside for nine months" and "Out at last".

The force said it was a "positive and innovative" way of raising money and offering police-themed items for sale.

Historical photographs

A Kent Police spokesman said the force believed it was the first in the country to open an online gift shop.

The products were chosen by its own staff, working with business partner Internova, which runs similar ventures for the London Fire Brigade and the London Transport Museum.

They also include copies of historical Kent Police photographs which are on display in the force's museum at Chatham Dockyard.

Adult T-shirts with fingerprint designs cost from 13 to 16, baby bibs are on sale for 9, and wooden police toys cost up to 10.

Youth mentoring

By early afternoon on Wednesday, the shop had received 29 orders that day, worth about 700.

"This isn't a new venture for Kent Police to fight crime," said the spokesman.

"It's not to buy equipment like riot shields - it's about building a stream of revenue for community projects."

Profits would go towards projects such as a youth mentoring scheme and the Kent People's Trust charity.

He said the force was confident the shop would recoup its costs in the first year.

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