Milton Keynes police 'elfie' stunt photos divide opinion
A series of police stunts with a Christmas elf has caused a seasonal divide of opinion on social media.
Over a three-day period, police officers posted 11 'elfie' photos on their official TVP Milton Keynes Facebook page.
The newly-adopted toy elf was shown in a variety of poses, including sitting on a signpost during street patrol, standing inside a coffee cup and even wedged in a police officer's boot.
Many people appreciated the photos, praising them for making police appear “more human” on the Facebook page, which has more than 10,000 followers.
But others are less appreciative and have accused cops of being downright 'elfish by having a joke when there are crimes to solve and missing people to find.
“How about instead of posting all these elf posts 24/7 you repost about Leah Croucher or the 13-year-old girl that’s gone missing?” posted one woman.
Another critic said: “Total waste of police time. Bin the elf.”
Other people were quick to defend the police – and the elf.
“There’s always people hating cops for having some light hearted fun.... I love this humour and it shows humanity... To to the haters out there... scroll on. It’s jolly japes... I can’t wait to see elf checking the hatches in the cells.”
Another fan wrote: “Love the elf! Helps people remember that police are approachable and human. Everyone who wants to criticise should go and join the police themselves and do a 'better' job.”
The elf saga started with a photo of the toy hung on the police station Christmas tree, bound up with police tape.
The caption stated: “It seems somebody has infiltrated the South Neighbourhood team office overnight & added some extra tree decorations. Unfortunately they wrapped themselves up in the process. Enquiries are ongoing to identifying the intruder. Elf and Safety have also been notified.”
After that, the elf has joined neighbourhood officers on their patrols and late shifts.
During one shift, where the elf was pictured having a coffee, the team posted they dealt successfully with we've dealt with two concerns for welfare of elderly gentleman, a mental health crisis, aggressive beggars and a distressed female,
The toy accompanied officers when they patrolled Springfield and Netherfield last week for Operation Darknight, an initiative to prevent burglaries.
Afterwards there was a photo of him in a shoe, with the caption: When I said we were going out on foot patrol, this wasn't quite what I had in mind.”