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'We will be watching you': Criminals receive birthday cards from force

It also sends Christmas cards

A force is thinking outside of the box amid budgetary pressures to deter criminals from reoffending - by sending them birthday cards.

“Don’t ruin your birthday by committing offences this year. We will be watching you,” the card from Durham Constabulary Chief Constable Mike Barton reads.

The force has a third less funding than it had in 2010 and continues to think of innovative ideas to get under the skin of criminals.

“We send them birthday cards. I’m very kind to people like that. We like to get in the face of these people,” CC Barton told The Times.

The force is also the first not prosecute low-level drug dealers as part of its Checkpoint Programme and is trialling artificial intelligence to assist sergeants with making custody decisions.

A Durham Constabulary spokesman said: “For a number of years we have sent known criminals birthday cards and Christmas cards – the aim is to remind them that we are watching them, and will lock them up if they commit an offence.” 

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