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Minsk Police To Visit Homes In Santa Suits

Belarusian police have been criticized in the past for their heavy-handed tactics (CTK) 16 December 2005 -- Police in Minsk will soon launch a holiday season campaign to improve their tough image by making random early evening visits to homes dressed "in an unexpected costume" (typically, Father Christmas and a female assistant), dpa reported on 15 December, citing Interfax

The program is called "Who's There? It's the Policeman Santa Claus!" and will run from 19-23 December. The callers will ask "security related" questions and award gifts for correct answers, according to the police.

One goal of the project is to "raise the level of security-consciousness among Minsk citizens," and home owners "will have the opportunity to place their residences in police registers from the comfort of their own sofas."

The police announcement concluded that "a visit from 'Santa in a police uniform' will be a special holiday for any little Minsk residents in the house." The police and security forces in Belarus are not known for having a cuddly image.

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