Polish sausage and squirrel book among gifts to police

A red squirrel Image copyright Getty Images

Home cured Polish sausage, dates from Saudi Arabia and a book on red squirrels are among gifts given to police officers.

Forces keep records of hospitality and gifts offered to officers and staff.

Thank-you gifts included free trouser repair and Hindu robes in recent years.

Gwent Police Federation chairman Tim Wilcox said: "It's really nice to acknowledge that members of the community want to say thanks to individual officers."

Officers in Wales are unlikely to go hungry while in the office or out on the beat, judging by disclosures from four forces.

By far and away, the most common gifts to officers and staff were treats - with enough biscuits, cakes and sweets to feed a small army.

One chip shop even gave a hungry patrol officer in Porthcawl, Bridgend county, a free chicken pie and small portion of chips.

The officer reported the gift, saying: "I was told that they were closing soon and didn't have a full portion of chips left but I could have what was left for free. I accepted with thanks.

"They also offered a chicken pie which I initially declined but when they told me it was only going in to the bin as they were closing I accepted."

The officer was told the gift was "approved on this occasion in line with policy" but in future, efforts should be made to reimburse the company.

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Image caption Hungry, officer?

Alcohol is another common gift, but depending on circumstances, cannot always be accepted.

Simon Newport, North Wales Police Federation chairman, said: "Years ago, you'd get whiskey, wine, boxes of chocolate which you could accept providing you'd disclose it.

"It happens less and less now - it's a modern day culture. It's difficult to say no to a little old lady who comes to the nick with a bottle of wine to say thank you."

For some people, the only proper way to show their appreciation was to make something themselves.

A walking stick with the carved head of a dog, soap and jam were among the gifts with the personal touch.

When gifts fall foul of the rules they are either returned or, where appropriate, can be donated to charity.

Mr Wilcox added: "When declining, it's crucial we acknowledge the thought behind it and, generally, police officers are good communicators."

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North Wales Police

  • Two baby hats, mittens and blankets for pregnant PCSO
  • Children's seaside-themed postcards given as a gift to a PCSO by an informant
  • Two packets of Saudi Arabian dates
  • A can of fabric protector
  • 10 packets of dog treats - donated to animal rescue home
  • Liverpool FC mug
  • £160 in cash, three £1 notes and one 10 shilling note, along with instructions on how to clean old bank notes (donated to charity)
  • Book on the conservation of the red squirrel
  • Traditional Filipino wooden musical instrument from visiting police force
  • Two jars of pickled red cabbage
  • Six old board games/jigsaw puzzles
  • Free professional trouser repair
  • Home-cured Polish sausage
  • A sherbet Dib Dab
  • £10 Pizza Express voucher
  • Book 'A Portrait of a New Angola'
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South Wales Police

  • 96 bottles of Lucozade
  • Tickets to Moulin Rouge charity night
  • Camel glass ornament
  • Woman's mountain bike
  • Shampoo
  • Toy doll and toy turtle
  • Novelty baby grow, baby booties, Minnie Mouse baby towel
  • Thai taxi 'phut phut' key ring
  • Bucket of 225 anti-bacterial wipes
  • Hindu robe
  • Knitted Kindle case in the shape of an owl
  • Box of six freshly laid eggs
  • A £50 pine Christmas tree
  • Five Lotto tickets (not known if the police officer subsequently became a millionaire)
  • Chicken pie and a small portion of chips
  • Handmade walking stick with the carved head of a dog
  • Small model fisherman from the parliament of Georgia
  • Bumper pack of nappies
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Gwent Police

  • Baby clothes
  • Cufflinks
  • Shoulder patch
  • Christmas shopping trip to Bath
  • Christmas crackers and wrapping paper
  • Homemade soap
  • Tub of fruit
  • Sausages
  • New Zealand woven police badges
  • Jars of homemade jam
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Dyfed-Powys Police

  • CD 'No Thee No Ess'
  • Small bag of fresh cockles
  • Teapot in the shape of a policeman
  • An old TV with VHS capability and two casual chairs
  • Hedge cuttings
  • A live lobster
  • Metal flower fashioned out of a bullet
  • A box of instant curry sauce
  • A complete dog kennel
  • A framed painting of police constables sitting down, drinking tea and talking to each other

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