Strathclyde Police are mounting a full-scale containment exercise in Edinburgh tonight, as they try to corner Matilda Gifford - the vicious air-pollution protester who callously shot down their reputation in cold blood today, killing stone dead any remaining vestiges of public trust in the guardians of law and order.
The 24-year-old desperado burst savagely into the Guardian this morning and unleashed a hail of recordings of ham-fisted attempts by officers from the Strathclyde force to recruit her as a paid informant. Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton IV barely had time to shout, "Look out, she's got a digital voice recorder!" before he was brought down by a deadly burst of rapid-fire questions from Scottish Lib Dems, Labour and the Scottish Green Party, demanding to know exactly how and when the police became the secret police.
Meanwhile, police south of the border are facing accusations of watching the wrong people, as it emerged that as many as 2,800 criminal gangs are active in England and Wales - a significant increase on than the previous estimate of 1,000.
"Nothing to see here," said Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. "The traditional gangs, such as the Mafia, the Triads, the Yakuza, the Camorra, the Viet Cong and the Ant Hill Mob - whose everyday activities include people trafficking, child slavery, drug-dealing, prostitution, kidnapping. fraud, murder and extortion - are well known to us. Let me take this opportunity to reassure them that, as long as they keep to their council-estate patches and stay off the front pages of the dailies, they are free to go about their unlawful business as usual."
"The large increase in the number of criminal gangs is simple to explain," she continued smoothly. "It's all these bloody protesters who are responsible for this apparent increase. They're smart and well-organised - and their tentacles are now spreading alarmingly from small, easily-controlled groups of anarchists meeting in the back of the pub, and reaching into the tender hearts of Middle England. The police have a clear duty to protect the vulnerable British public from being terrorised in their homes by inconvenient facts like climate change, air pollution, erosion of civil liberties, tuition fees, police brutality, social exclusion and greedy capitalist bastards."
"Let me reassure the public that we will leave no law unturned in our crusade to free Britain from the awful, gnawing fear of Plane Stupid, No2ID, The Free Society, Liberty, the Taxpayers Alliance, the Freedom Association, FOREST, the Countryside Alliance and the dreaded Salvation Army," she added. "Even if it takes us a thousand glorious years."