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Shhh! Don't tell criminals that islands' police are on holiday

DON'T tell the criminals -- that was the running joke as half of an entire police force descended on Dublin for a busman's holiday.

More than 50 members of the Faroe Islands' police force were in town to meet their garda equivalents and enjoy the sights over the weekend.

Members of the force, which is a subsidiary of the Danish police, traditionally take an international trip every year. But to get to Dublin they had to rent a jet as there were no direct flights. "We didn't know much about Dublin, so when we got an opportunity to rent the plane, we went for it," said traffic officer Karl Leonsson (37).

They also took the opportunity to teach the Irish a little about the Faroe Islands, including joining a trad music session.

"We got hold of the guitars and started singing a few of our own songs," Mr Leonsson said.

The Faroe Islands, off the north coast of Scotland, have a population of nearly 50,000. About 20,000 people live in the metropolitan area of Tórshavn -- often referred to as "the smallest capital in the world".

"There are about 100 police officers in the Faroe Islands in total, and 50 of us are here. Don't tell the criminals," added Mr Leonsson.

His colleague Jan Poulsen added that there was a serious side to the trip as the officers involved had completed an extra assignment for their organisation back home, and were meeting gardai in Ireland during their time here.

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