Operation Santa success

30 Dec 2015 14:00 PM

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Northumbria Police officers gave a helping hand to a very important person on Christmas Eve.

At around 3pm on Thursday, December 24, officers responded to a call from Santa Claus after his reindeer and sleigh broke down on the way to the children's ward at the RVI hospital on Christmas eve.

'Operation Santa' was immediately launched and saw officers deployed to the area in order to help get the VIP to the hospital on time.

Sergeant Michelle Jahangiri and PC Graeme Dodds attended and escorted Santa to the hospital, helping him get his big bag of presents and gifts delivered to all of the boys and girls on the childrens' ward.

The broken down sleigh and reindeer were fixed by officers from the force's mounted section and thanks to officers' help Santa Claus was seen safely on his way ahead of his evening's work.

'Operation Santa' went out live on Facebook and Twitter and it reached, and was seen by, almost 500,000 people with around 10,000 people liking the story, hundreds of people commenting on it and taking part in the operation and messages of support and praise for the force coming in from as far as America and across Europe.

The gifts that Santa gave out were collected by Sergeant Michelle Jahangiri and donated by officers and staff at Northumbria Police and the whole thing was put together with the help of staff at the RVI hospital.

Sergeant Michelle Jahangiri said: "Operation Santa was a huge success and I'd like to thank all of the children, parents and staff at the RVI for taking part and their help in making it happen.The look on the kids' faces when we came in with Santa Claus was priceless and we had such an amazing time delivering presents, speaking with all the children and parents.

"The 'operation' couldn't have gone any better and I really hope that we managed to make Christmas that little bit more enjoyable for all of the children who were having to spend Christmas in hospital. I'd  like to thank my colleagues who donated the gifts and presents, the children were over the moon with them and that was down to their kindness."

Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: "I'm very proud of the work that officers do in community and often hear about staff supporting charities and holding events for good causes. It's really great that we were able to assist with Operation Santa and help spread a little Christmas cheer."