Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Snow joke: Riot police rapped for sledding on shields

Policemen in England filmed using a riot shield as a makeshift sledge have been reprimanded for the prank, a force has said.

A passer-by captured the moment Thames Valley Police officers arrived at the slope in Berkeley Road, Boars Hill, Oxford, in a riot van.



One is then seen clambering on to the shield, advised by a colleague: "You've got to hold on to the straps."



Another officer appears to be filming the incident on his mobile phone as the policeman is pushed down the slope, to a shout of: "Whatever happens, keep smiling!"



He then travels down the hill towards a ditch, to the obvious amusement of his three colleagues watching.



Superintendent Andrew Murray, Oxford City commander with Thames Valley Police, said: "The snow has a habit of bringing out the child in all of us. I have spoken to the officers concerned and reminded them in no uncertain terms that tobogganing on duty, on police equipment and at taxpayers' expense is a very bad idea should they wish to progress under my command."



Rick Latham, who filmed the 41-second clip on Tuesday afternoon before posting it on the YouTube website, said he initially thought police were going to tell him off.



The 50-year-old, who was attempting to get down the slope in a kayak, said: "We were just having a laugh, then they pulled up and we thought they were going to give us a hard time.



"Then they asked how slippy the snow was, and one of them grabbed the shield, then another one went down on it as well. I asked if I could film it and they said that was fine. They said something like: 'We're only human'."



Mr Latham said he was impressed by the officers' behaviour and hopes they were not severely reprimanded. He added: "You don't always build up the most positive image of the police but they broke the mould. They were chatty and pleasant. It was just nice to see them in that situation."

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