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PSNI use their furry friends to hammer home messages of safety during festive season

By Lesley Houston

Published 31/12/2015

Police in Co Tyrone took a novel approach to their annual safety campaign this year, depicting the Twelve Days of Christmas with the help of man's best friend and some Yuletide helpers.

Canine, feline and even equine 'models' sporting festive fashion are featured on the PSNI Dungannon and South Tyrone's Facebook page, each illustrating the Christmas countdown with a warning or advice to motorists, householders and office party-goers.

Cats wearing Santa hats, tiny pooches in elf wear and horses bedecked with tinsel are featured, hammering home a number of serious community safety messages, about drink-driving, theft, responsible drinking at parties and even cyber crime and looking in on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.

The annual warnings, especially that of drink-driving, which regularly feature graphic and disturbing television advertisements, are given a tongue-in-cheek treatment to catch the social media site users' attention.

A sheepish-looking dog, "Dusty the drunk driver", is pictured after a "night in the cells after his Christmas party" on the ninth day of Christmas.

The tiny mutt is described as "feeling very sorry and ashamed of himself" and has nothing but a court appearance to look forward to in the New Year.

"Our message to road users is very simple: Drinking and driving kills, maims, wrecks families and communities."

On the 10th day of Christmas, Jess the cat burglar warned householders against leaving empty properties vulnerable to burglars, while Lola the horse warned of the dangers facing those full of Christmas cheer and 'horsing around', as they attempt to get home safely after a night out.

Another tiny canine, 'Frank the Tank', warned, on the fifth day, of the dangers of cyber crime, as Riley, the Alsatian cold caller, was used to warn people about allowing bogus callers into their homes.

And while Ted the Jack Russell was pictured in front of a cosy fire, the PSNI issued a reminder to "look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours and family".

"Call in and make sure they are OK and that they are warm enough."

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