Ever since Sergeant Mark Smyth of Brixton Police Station won gold for his brilliant short story “Who I did on my holidays”, back in 1962, the Police Federation Creative Writing Awards have been a mainstay of the literary calendar. Sponsored by Walls Sausages, the “Porkies” as they’re known in the publishing business feature some of the grittiest crime, fantasy and romantic writing from some of the best imaginations ever to escort a witness down a police station staircase.
In their fiftieth year, the Porkies are expected to be meatier than ever, with a distinct north south divide. In the romantic fiction section, look out for London-set Blue Beauty, a far-fetched story of a police horse, a red haired temptress, a red faced politician and a red top newspaper. Expect purple passages!
Another tale, this time from the frozen North, is the product of a massive creative writing workshop, with literally hundreds of officers getting together to create a rambling but plausible work of football fiction, hailed by Boris Johnson as a “thumping good read”. It comes from the multiple notebooks of the same team who brought us the fantasy tale of Orgreave, in which a group of brave, blue clad knights battled a clan of wily underground cave-workers who were holding the country to ransom.
But the hot tip for the coveted Golden Porkie is for children. Mr Whippy gets Cross is the story of an ice cream salesman who gets so hot under the collar all his lollies melt and he’s in big trouble with his boss, until some kind police officers remind him to be polite, and he cools down and says sorry.