CALLING all old age pensioners. Sign up today and become members of the OAPSBU (The Old Age Pensioners Swag Bag Union) and set out on a life of crime with an abundance of rewards which will make your present pension look sick.

I have just finished reading a national newspaper report headed 'We'll pay young thugs £20,000 a year to go straight'. This is a hare-brained scheme from MP Hazel Blears who joined the Home Office in last month's reshuffle.

The scheme is for taxpayers' cash to be doled out to convicted muggers and burglars in weekly payments of up to £384 per week to stay out of trouble.

Members of the Union will be issued with masks, jemmies, coshes and swag bags upon joining so that they can start operating immediately. All that is required then is to surrender to the police, with the loot as evidence, and then sign the pledge to be good (old) boys and girls in the future.

A simple form then needs to be completed to state how you would like your money. Live the life of Riley and say goodbye to Pittance Pension Day Blues!

I have come across many idiots in my time in political parties and in governments but this new police minister takes the biscuit. Are things so bad that the Prime Minister has not only scraped the bottom of the barrel with this appointment but has dug underneath it? One thing has most definitely been proved ... crime does pay!

Ivan E rickwood