Bridgend's assistant Police chief reacted angrily last night to claims that fat cat ropemakers were making an obscene profit out of the recent spate of youth hangings. At a tempestuous press conference, PC Dave Morris stormed "I don't know how these people can sleep at night."
This increased fears that unscrupulous rope and gallowsmakers were actively targeting young people in their campaigns. One local rope-manufacture, The Long Drop, whose recent slogan "It's cool to hang out in Bridgend" has only recently been scrapped, was especially criticised by PC Morris.
"Its terrible" He said "We really need to get across our message that hanging is not a fun activity. Companies like The Long Drop make that message very difficult to get across. Some young people see it as a lifestyle choice. It's safe to say that wearing nooses in Bridgend is more fashionable now than neckties."
Morris showed me some of The Long Drop's recent products: a range of strangulation themed t-shirts, a "hang your friends" computer game and, most shockingly an edible gallows made of licorice aimed at the under-5s. It is hard not to be appalled.
"This is part of Britain's growing so-called 'swing culture', one in which it is seen as being glamorous to suspend yourself by the neck in the evening." Morris went on, adding ruefully "I remember when you could go out on a Friday night and not see feet dangling from a lamp post".
When approached, owner of The Long Drop, Jack Ketch, 47, vigorously denied his company bore any blame for the incidents.
"We don't tell them to hang themselves" He said, "We just give them enough rope."
Police are also investigating possible links to a hardcore porn film entitled "Young and Hung" which has been rumoured to in the possession of one victim. It is said to contain the line "If you ain't well hung, life ain't worth living" which may have had an influence of these young people.