Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sledging Oxford police are Facebook hit


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

More than 160,000 people have joined an internet fan group supporting police officers who were told off for using a riot shield to sledge down a hill.

The Thames Valley Police officers were reprimanded after footage of them tobogganing in the snow on Boars Hill, Oxford, was posted on the internet.

Thousands have since joined a group on social-networking site Facebook, set up by James Keene, 15, of Harwell, Didcot.

He said the footage showed police had a "human side".

The misspelled group "The Policeman who used his riot sheild as a sledge is a genius!" was created on Thursday.

James said about 18,000 people joined the group on the first day, adding the officers should not have been reprimanded.

"I think it's a bit silly really," he said.

"In all fairness, how much would people pay to get this much respect from the public for the police?"

The officers involved in the prank have since been told by Supt Andrew Murray that their actions were "a bad idea".

Thames Valley Police was unavailable for comment about the Facebook fan group.

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