Police get shirty over gangsters' advert role

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The Independent Online

When they were disposing of bodies for the Kray twins, Freddie Foreman and Tony Lambrianou probably did not worry too much about the softness of their shirts.

But in a development which has angered the police and crime victims' groups, they are now fronting an advertising campaign for an upmarket shirt that the makers claim is the smoothest known to humanity.

The former gangsters were paid an undisclosed amount for the campaign by the shirtmaker Thomas Pink, which is based on the theme "hard on the inside, soft on the outside".

A spokeswoman for the company says the men, who have served 33 years in jail between them, were chosen because their tough features contrasted with the softness of the £95 shirts.

"We are not advocating nor glorifying violence. We did not pay them for what they did, but for how they look," she said.

However the Police Federation and the charity Victim Support condemned the payment to men who became famous as gangsters.

A Police Federation source said: "The softness of their shirts no doubt contrasts with the coarseness of their prison garb. Former criminals should not profit from their crimes or be allowed to use their notoriety for financial gain."