Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Oxford riot shield sledging police officers reprimanded


A Thames Valley Police officer uses a riot shield to sledge in the snow

Police officers filmed using riot shields to sledge down a snowy hill while on duty have been reprimanded.

The footage of a group of officers on Boars Hill, Oxford, was taken by Rick Latham on Tuesday. He posted it on the file-sharing website YouTube.

Mr Latham said they were only there for a few minutes and praised the officers for having a "sense of humour".

Supt Andrew Murray said those involved have been spoken to and advised that their actions were a "bad idea".

But the local policing area commander added that the snow had "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," Supt Murray added.

Since I've put the footage up lots have people have commented saying how good it is to see officers having a sense of humour
Rick Latham

Mr Latham, 50, from Oxford, said he was on the hill when the officers came over.

"I thought they were going to tell us off at first," Mr Latham told BBC News.

"But they had a look at the hill and two of them went down on their shields.

"They were jovial and it was nice to see officers taking time out to get involved.

"They were only there for a few minutes so I don't think they should be criticised.

"Since I've put the footage up lots have people have commented saying how good it is to see officers having a sense of humour.

"It makes a change of the image you usually read about."

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