The pre-dawn raid was the largest of its kind ever mounted in Cambridgeshire. Two double-decker buses and three helicopters were used to transport police to the Wheelbarrow club in Fish Street on Sunday morning. 144 gnomes were arrested for an act of 'gross indecency' and the possession of potting compost in contravention of the explosives act.
Several underage teenage girls have been charged with providing oral sex in exchange for duty-free cigarettes, but it is unclear at this time whether the officers in attendance took them up on their offer. "It was hell in there," commented one shaken negotiator wearing a balaclava and full Teflon body armour, as he watched another trouserless gnome being bundled into the back of a bulging police van. "Some of them were packing formidable weapons."
Police removed large quantities of suspected drugs, wood alcohol and designer tracksuit bottoms for forensic analysis. Two bags of industrial strength potting compost—thought to be employed in bomb-making equipment—were also found on the premises.
A lawyer acting on behalf of the newly formed Gnome Rights Alliance (NRA), angrily dismissed the police claim that 144 gnomes had been arrested as 'a gross exaggeration', insisting that his twelve clients were arrested several times, as the identical red hats they have been forced to wear under new anti-Gnome legislation made it impossible for officers to tell them apart in the dimly lit interior.
The leader of the National Satirists Party of England, Chairman Tenji, said the raid demonstrated the country's determination to win the war on International Gnomery.
"The police will continue to step up their enforcement to reduce incidents of alcohol-fuelled violence and sexual impropriety in the county. I hope that the closure of this den of iniquity will send out a clear message to the Gnome ringleaders that we will not permit them to undermine the standards of non-violence, sobriety and sexual modesty for which our young people are justifiably respected the world over."
I asked the officer who led the raid, Chief Inspector Rod Slipper, why the gnomes had targeted this particular club.
"It's right next door to a bleedin' garden centre, isn't it?" commented the Chief Inspector as he escorted another trouserless gnome to a waiting police van. "I said it was a bit previous when they built the place. We've suspected for some time that gnomes were running a vice ring to fund their terrorist activities but never dreamed they'd chose St Neots as their headquarters. It just goes to show how cunning the little shits have been."
"Did you encounter stiff resistance?"
"Some of the gnomes were packing formidable weapons but once they saw the size of my lads they soon wilted. A fat little shit in a red hat wielding a miniature garden rake is no match for a bloke kitted out in full Teflon body armour poking a Kalashnikov in his face."
"So who tipped you off?" I asked, slipping the Chief Inspector a bulging, brown envelope.
"Sienna Miller, miss."
"No miss, the coke sniffing, bohemian socialite."
"Would that be the same Ms Miller who has strenuously denied she ever worked with a group of performing midgets or had unnatural sexual relations with persons of stunted growth—"
Rod Slipper cut me short with a weary sigh and rolled his eyes theatrically. "—Frankly miss, we don't set much store by these unsavoury rumours in the force. Until Chairman Tenji alerted the nation to the evils of International Gnomery we naturally assumed Miss Miller's denials were genuine. But after the horrors my officers witnessed in the Wheelbarrow club it now seems pretty clear that the sick practices she is alleged to have engaged in are commonplace among these degenerates. I'm convinced that gnomes will stop at nothing to overthrow English society as we know it."
"Gosh!" I commented. "So it was the gnomes who instigated this uncharacteristic orgy of un-British sex and violence?"
"Not exactly, no," replied Rod Slipper as he pried the probing fingers of a scantily clad teenage girl away from his reinforced Teflon codpiece. "We think the DJ started it by playing The White Heather Club Singers and other degenerate music as opposed to your mainstream Techno and Shed which is the norm in these venues. Once the gnomes got a sniff of 'My Love She's But A Lassie Yet,' it was trousers off and hows your father before you could say 'spit roast."
"Spit roast, Chief Inspector?"
"Er...a degenerate sex act popular with middle-aged, male Sun readers. It's the same trick they pulled on poor Miss White."
"Snow White, miss. The teenage girl they abducted. It was her ordeal that started this whole business off. It's driven the gnomes into a frenzy of increasingly anti-social acts."
"But why, Inspector? Why are they revolting?"
"Sorry, miss. Can't stop. I'm getting reports about a revenge attack in Newmarket."
"Is it serious?"
"I'll say. Someone has apparently put a garden fork through three gnomes belonging to the Chief Constable's mother-in-law!"
Chairman Tenji has appealed for calm and urged the public not to take the law into their own hands, insisting that the 18 million baseball bats delivered to households earlier this week by the National Satirists Party, were purely for 'educational purposes.'
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