Thursday, May 23, 2024
Cops and Robbers

Cops And Robbers

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

The robbers of London town plan a desperate crime one Christmas Eve – to steal all the toys they can lay their hands on! Fortunately, the robbers meet their match in brave Officer Pugh who leaps into action and arrests the villains – all except Grandma Swagg who manages to get away.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Can you describe the rhyming patterns within the story?
  • Can you make a list of the rhyming words? Could you make your own rhyming dictionary and refer to this during your writing?
  • Some of the rhyming patterns are similar to those found in a limerick. Can you make up your own limericks (about cops, robbers of other things?)
  • The London cops are described as being ‘hardworking, brave and true’. Think of other words that describe the qualities of a good police officer.
  • Think of questions that could be used in an interview with a police officer. Could you invite one to your school?
  • The robbers ‘prowl and creep’. Can you think of other ways of moving around?
  • Make a list of all of the words used to describe the police and a list of the words used to describe the robbers.
  • Choose one of the robbers shown in the book (e.g. Grabber Dan, Grandma Swagg) and write a story about a crime they might have committed.
  • Make a ‘Wanted’ poster about one of the criminals in the story (see Resources below).
  • Write a new story about Officer Pugh and a crime that he prevents.
  • Retell the story from Officer Pugh’s point of view.
  • Retell the story from the point of view of one of the robbers.


  • Look at the robbers’ Christmas Eve timetable. How long will each of their activities take? Can you make a timetable of the things that you might do on Christmas Eve?
  • Look at the list of the things that the robbers took on Christmas Eve (found in the illustration showing the Street Map). Find out the approximate value of each item. What is the total value of the items stolen?


  • Use publishing software to make some ‘Wanted’ posters for the criminals mentioned in the story.
  • Design a certificate / medal to give to Officer Pugh for such outstanding police work.

Design Technology

  • Design a machine that will catch a robber who tries to steal something from your bedroom.


  • The cover of the book includes pictures of different ‘cops and robbers’. Can you draw your own picture of what a cop / robber might look like?


  • Could you compose a theme tune for a new TV show about the police?
  • Can you create a tune that might create a ‘suspicious’ atmosphere for a TV show or play?


  • Draw a plan view of each floor in the police station based on the illustration in the book. What rooms are in the building?
  • Draw a plan view of each floor in the robbers’ house.
  • Look at the police officers’ street map and plan routes from one street to another. What roads do you need to use to get from one place to another? Which direction will you need to turn?

Physical education

  • The robbers ‘prowl and creep’. Can you practice prowling / creeping? How else can you move around?


  • Look at the police officer’s map and give directions (in another language) to help people move from one place to another.


  • The robbers ‘take? whatever they please’. Why is this wrong? How does it make people feel? What can we do to prevent others taking our things?


Wanted Poster

Wanted Poster

Download File

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