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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 16:50 GMT
Police face abuse at break times
A police force has highlighted concerns that officers taking a meal break in public have become the target of abuse.

Northants Police is calling on the public not to "blame" officers for taking time off for lunch and dinner.

Officers have been wrongfully accused of snacking on duty and have been asked "searching questions" or told you should be "catching criminals".

Insp Terry Walters said police need to be visible and this should be welcomed, not criticised.

He said police often worked under pressure but this misunderstanding led to "unnecessary intrusive comments and queries".

In Northampton, a Co-op store initiative to welcome officers who need to complete paperwork, make phone calls, or have a refreshment break has been welcomed by customers, he added.

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