And now for something just a little bit different…
…A retelling of the Christmas story using detail drawn from a little known historical source – the Daily Crime Bulletin of the Bethlehem Police Department (known by all as the ‘BPD’ – and by some as the ‘Thin Beige Line’).
Published daily by the local Constabulary, the Bulletin offers a fascinating insight into the work of a hitherto unheralded group of women and men – whilst shining new light on an old tale.
Bethlehem Police Department
Daily Crime Bulletin
Late Turn – Briefing for Operation Census
– Substantial number of migrants arriving at border during past week;
– Limited community tension reported – no incidents of note;
– Large crowds expected in Bethlehem this evening;
– No intelligence re: pre-planned disorder;
– Terrorism Threat Level remains at ‘Severe’;
– 12 officers on duty;
– Roads Policing Chariot in for repairs – no replacement available.
Start of shift;
2 PCs to fixed post at main Town Checkpoint;
2 PCs to ongoing crime scene at Caesar’s Nightclub;
2 PCs to constant watch in the cells;
Remaining officers out on foot.
Routine patrols – High Street.
Town Centre crowded but peaceful.
Call to Civil Dispute in the foyer of the Judea Travelodge.
Apparent misunderstanding regarding double booking of two suites.
Situation deteriorated as it became apparent that there are no other rooms available – anywhere in the neighbourhood.
Suspects became violent. Two arrests. Now lodging with us overnight.
Suspect detained for Theft of Wine from the Bethlehem Brasserie.
Evidence consumed prior to police arrival.
Suspect unfit for interview until tomorrow morning.
Reports of possible UFO sighting.
Claims of a bright light – moving East to West at height of several thousand feet.
Area Search No Trace.
Possible Nuisance Call.
Multiple calls to disturbance on hillside a mile outside town.
Reports of strobe lighting and loud music.
Initial suspicions of an illegal rave in progress.
On arrival, met by gang of Shepherds and a large quantity of sheep. Shepherds claiming to been visited by angels.
Despite lengthy enquiries and thorough searches, no sound system or lighting equipment found – and no evidence of alcohol or illegal substances. Not even a spliff.
Initially threatened Shepherds with arrest for wasting police time – but settled for a Verbal Warning when they explained that they were leaving anyway.
Last seen running towards Bethlehem Town Centre.
Call from Judea Border Patrol.
They have stopped a group of Travellers who claim to have come from ‘afar’.
Have yet to establish where this is.
The three who appear to be in charge are well dressed and claim to know something about the earlier UFO report.
Search of luggage has revealed a quantity of gold and a container filled with an aromatic and suspicious looking resin.
Update from Border Patrol.
Travellers able to prove ownership of gold – and the resin turns out to be something called Myrrh. Checks confirm this isn’t a Controlled Drug.
Allowed on their way.
Call to believed Child Protection case.
Reports of newborn baby being cared for in wholly unsuitable circumstances – apparently in a stable, surrounded by livestock and with no heating or running water.
Unmarried teenage mother with no obvious means of support aside from someone claiming – without documentation – to be her ‘betrothed’.
On arrival, found earlier group of Shepherds in street outside.
Initially threatened them with arrest for Obstructing Police – then saw expression on their faces.
Decided to see for myself what was going on.
Ma’am, I’ve walked this beat for more than 20 years and I’ve seen most things that this line of work puts your way – but I have no words to describe what I saw last night.
No arrests necessary. No explanation adequate. But everything is different now.
By the time you read this, I’ll have finished my shift. If you have any questions about this report, you’ll find me back at the stable door.
If I may Ma’am – and if you have time – you really ought to come and see for yourself.
Here’s to a little peace on earth.