Friday, August 04, 2006

Never mind the facts, look at the headlines!

They say that a lie can be half way round the world while the truth is still lacing up its boots.

And the headline writers at newsdesks around the world are proving the old saying correct by having a ball with the "PrayerWatch" story, which wrongly suggests that Lincolnshire Police are calling on God to help solve crime.

Truth is (see my blog yesterday on the subject) the police have not asked the clergy to pray to cut crime. But since when did the media let the facts get in the way of a cracking headline...?

Here's a few of my favourites:

The London Times thunders:
Police enlist the power of prayer

While the Daily Telegraph informs its readers:
Let us pray to solve crime, say police
A rural police constabulary is calling on the ultimate special constable to help in its fight against crime: God.

The Guardian tells its followers:
Policing on a Prayer

The Yorkshire Post hails:
They've tried everything else but now police have turned to the power of prayer as their latest crime fighting tool against vandals and thieves.

Around the world, the headline writers have also joined in their fun:

The Edmonton Journal in Canada came up with:
Officer, how can we catch criminals? Err, let us pray

The Mumbai Mirror in India says:
Cops in Lincolnshire are turning to the power of prayers to nab criminals

New Zealanders read:
Cops pray for help catching crooks

Aussies are fed with:
Dear Lord, please help cops catch crooks

South Africans reading the SA Independent see:
A lower crime rate? Amen to that, say police

And Malaysians are served up with:
Dear Lord, please help cops
catch crooks. Amen

But our very own Daily Mail, always desperate to score a political point or ten, takes the biscuit for this offering:

With fewer than one in 10 burglaries being solved, the reign of law seems to be fading fast in Lincolnshire. So the police are turning to the power of prayer instead.

Priceless. But way off beam.

Truth is crime in Lincolnshire, particularly burlaries, has been consistently cut over the past few years.

And that's due to hard work by the record number of police we now have on the streets of Lincolnshire - ably assisted by the ranks of police community support officers.

But you won't read that in the Mail.

The truth doesn't fit their agenda.

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