Rockhampton police have been on the hunt for a small male, dressed in red and white, seen raiding the communication team’s fridge for lollies and getting into mischief.
Elf on the Shelf has since been taken into police custody.
He is learning the errors of his ways and is now passing on some important safety messages to the public during his rehabilitation.
The concept is the brainchild of Rockhampton Police’s small media team, which came up with a series of social media posts placing Elf in common scenarios.
Senior Sergeant Kelly Hanlon, who leads the team, says they were looking for a fun way to spread the police Christmas safety message, including its road safety campaign, responsible drinking and staying safe.
“He has been such a great help with our messaging to the community, but he is a bit naughty and can go off the rails a bit,” she said.
‘Don’t be like Elf’
Senior Sergeant Hanlen says she is surprised at just how much the community has engaged with the concept.
“It’s been a really good icebreaker with the community to get a few more laughs and a bit of sense of humour around policing,” she said.
The Rockhampton police unit too has also taken to Elf, with a bit of competition as to who gets to take him on the job.
A couple of officers won the toss recently and visited a local shopping centre, according to Senior Sergeant Hanlen.
“Elf was just hanging off their uniform, and the kids were going crazy,” she said.
“They were waving at the police and they were going, ‘Oh my god, there’s Elf on the Shelf.’
But there is a naughty side to Elf.
“Elf himself wasn’t quite a responsible drinker a couple of weekends ago and landed himself in the watch house,” Senior Sergeant Hanlen said.
“That’s the type of messaging we can use — don’t be like Elf.”
He even got his little hands on a police motorbike, took it for a spin and stole one of the station’s alcometers — but he then helped the unit with their safety campaign.
“Even this weekend, he went to the pokies to see what this gambling thing was all about, but his messaging was, ‘Don’t gamble your savings away — enjoy your Christmas with your loved ones,'” Senior Sergeant Hanlen said.
“So he has that serious messaging, but he loves his mischief and particularly lollies and sugar.