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Merseyside gives Santa permission to land

Merseyside’s chief constable has given Santa a free pass to bring joy to children across the country - as long as he sticks to Elf and Safety guidance.

Ahead of the biggest global logistics operation of the tear, Chief Constable Andy Cooke and his senior team confirmed Santa would not be stopped despite the Coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Cooke and the team issued their seasonal statement on social media confirming that Santa has a free pass to enter the UK via the air corridor for John Lennon airport – as long as he kept to the speed limit, didn’t drink and fly, wore a face mask and observed social distancing.

In a specially-convened media broadcast, Mr Cooke made clear children didn’t need to worry about missing out.

In a direct statement to Santa Claus, Mr Cooke said: “As a resident of the North Pole, you will have been aware how difficult this year has been for everyone on our planet.

“This has been especially so for children who just want to have fun, go to school with their mates, learn new things and enjoy some time with their families.”

The Chief Constable revealed that he had worked through the complex guidance from the College of Policing and that he was determined to meet his duty to “create a vision and set direction and culture that builds public confidence”.

Two of his duties are to develop processes and take appropriate action at all levels. This had enabled him to agree a way for Christmas to go ahead without risking public safety.

In a detailed statement, the Chief said: “As Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, I thought that the Coronavirus restrictions might get in the way of you doing your most important job this Christmas: delivering presents to all the children and putting a smile on their faces.”

The man who leads national planning of operations against international organised crime set out the specially devised advice that also met the ‘engage, explain, encourage, enforce’ procedures set out by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.

“In order for that to happen without you getting in to trouble with me or my very serious and very deputy chief constable and assistant chief constables, I’m granting you a free pass.

“On Christmas Eve - but not before – you, your seven reindeer and whichever elves you need in your bubble to help you will be temporarily exempt from the Coronavirus laws and restrictions.”

Mr Claus has been given wide-ranging freedoms – including travelling into Tier 4 areas.

CC Cooke said: “You can land on someone’s roof and go down their chimney without worrying about needing to be in their bubble or mixing with another household. You go can travel outside Merseyside to other parts of the country - as long as, of course, you do our houses first.”

“And I’ll allow you a glass of milk, a few mince pies, carrots for the reindeer - but please remember to wash your hands. And no sherry if it’s you driving the sleigh not Rudolf.”

PPE has been a concern for the Fed and enforcement of the rules has been a challenge for officers across the UK.

Mr Cooke explained: “Face masks are trickier. I know that for gentlemen who have a beard they can be annoying and itchy but for Elf and Safety reasons I think you and your elves should keep them on indoors.”

With the rules explained, Mr Cooke said his roads and specialist officers had planned for a near-silent night.

He said: “The flightpaths in the sky should be a little for you than normal quieter this year and so should the roads. But plenty of my officers will be out and about to keep an eye on those on our naughty list – which I am glad to  say does not include young children.”

He ended the statement with a direct message for Santa: “Please give us a wave as you fly over our police stations but please stick to the speed limit. I don’t want our helicopter to have to give you a ticket. Thank you Santa and merry Christmas.”

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