Page last updated at 17:53 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 18:53 UK

Music bill forces police off beat

Wiltshire Police officers have been banned from listening to music after the force received a £32,000 bill from the Performing Rights Society (PRS).

Chief Constable Brian Moore described the situation as "ridiculous" but said that he does "fully support the law."

"The money is best spent on policing. The playing of music across the force will cease forthwith," he added.

The PRS collects and distributes royalties on behalf of music publishers and writers.

'Discussions ongoing'

Wiltshire Police said the £32,000 bill included £23,000 in arrears.

However a PRS spokesman said that £23,000 was the total bill sent in January, covering the period from June 2007 to June 2009 and that he did not know why there was a discrepancy.

"Any use of music in a business or commercial premises requires, by law, a licence from PRS. Wiltshire Police were first approached about their music use in June 2007," he added.

Wiltshire Police said: "Discussions are ongoing but we can confirm that the playing of music has ceased across the force."

Cath Hollands of the Wiltshire Police Federation said: "It would be a shame if they stopped us listening to music for legal reasons."

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