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Which list will you be on next year Canadian police send message to suspects to ask them if they've been naughty or nice
Abbotsford Police Department in British Columbia, Canada, has sent a seasonal greeting to known prolific offenders and gang membersThe Christmas message, part of Operation Resolution, is aimed at making criminals mend their ways in the New Year
22:20 GMT, 11 December 2012
'He's making a list, he's checking it twice, he's going to find out who's been naughty or nice' goes the popular Christmas song.
But Santa Claus has come to a Canadian town with a difference this Christmas – he's armed with an automatic weapon and wearing a bullet proof police vest.
Abbotsford Police Department in British Columbia, Canada, has sent this rather unorthodox seasonal greeting to everyone on its own naughty list this Christmas.
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Seasons greetings: The not-so-festive warning sent to criminals by a Canadian police force
The force has sent the card to all known prolific offenders, gang members and drug dealers in a bid to get them to make it their New Year resolution to change their criminal ways.
The card, sent out as part of Operation Resolution, features the force's Police Chief Bob Rich dressed as Father Christmas in tactical gear with the accompanying message 'Which list will you be on next year'
As well as the image of Santa on the card's front, the not-so-festive greeting also has a quote that says: 'You are always only one choice away from changing your life'.
An additional greeting continues: 'We believe it is never too late to make a better choice for your life.
Unamused: Not everyone saw the funny side of Abbotsford Police Department's seasonal greeting
'For the sake of your family & for your own sake, consider 2013 the year you choose a new & better life.
'Make your New Year’s resolution now! We’re here to help.'
For those on the naughty list that do heed the force's warning, there is a phone number they can call.
Callers are urged to redial 911 in an emergency, but asked to leave their details for a call back from officers should they wish to 'make a change.'
Checking his list twice: A more traditional Father Christmas image than the one on Abbotsford Police Department's card
A spokesman for the Abbotsford Police Department said: 'We realize that Operation Resolution is different.
'We wanted to do something different but to also stay true to the spirit of the holidays and the New Year.
'We sincerely believe that the holiday season is a time for reflection for many people in our community.
'A positive change can reap rewards and benefits far beyond the impact to a single individual.'
But the police force may well find itself scrubbed off some people's Christmas card list with several taking offence and complaining via APD's Facebook page.
Canadian Neva Lovegrove commented: 'One the picture is in poor taste and second in my opinion the money you used for this could of been better spent on the children and seniors of the town you already know the offender is only going to laugh at this.'
Kelly Olson added: 'How much taxpayer money spent on this stupidity'
Some did see the funny side though, with Wayne Busilla posting: 'Bravo, it is effective, creative, a great use of very little taxpayers dollars. I for one, am impressed with this proactive approach to making our citizens safe.'
The force under Chief Rich's leadership must be doing something right.
It is well on its way to reaching its goal of halving crime since 2008 by 2013 and has been transformed from Canada's 'murder capital' to one of the safest big cities in the country.
Video: Abbotsford PD sends seasons greetings to its 'naughty list':
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