Police disguised as grannies will soon be walking Britain's streets in a radical move to cut crime, Home Secretary Theresa May announced today.
The 'Decoy Grannies Initiative' has already been piloted in some of the country's mugging black spots, resulting in a fall in street crime.
Inspector Bill Sweeney said that after some teething troubles, it was now safe for old ladies in pairs to walk the streets of Nottingham after midnight.
PC Jim Wakes (6 feet 9 inches), and one of the first decoy grannies to hit the streets, said that the first time he apprehended a potential mugger was one of the highlights of his career.
'The look on his face when I straightened up and smacked him round the head with my handbag and knitting-needled him, was a sight to behold,' PC Wakes recalled, adjusting his headscarf, padded bra and moustache.
But experienced mugger 'Mad' Mick Miller (17) said that he had no worries about decoy grannies.
'I goes for this granny as she was coming out of the post office with her pension and went to snatch it,' he said, 'when she straightened up and turned into the old bill. I was out of there with the pension, a two-way radio and a police whistle. The old bill had no chance of catching me what with him wearing carpet slippers.'
The police claim that since the introduction of the grannies, muggers have been wary of attacking old ladies in case they happen to be PC Wakes.
'Thanks to the decoys, grannies are a no go area amongst the criminal fraternity in Nottingham,' Inspector Sweeney said. 'Violent youths here stay well clear of apparently frail old ladies pushing a shopping trolley and brandishing a taser gun.'