February 28th, 2006

More Monkey Business

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

The BBC, and some other media outlets, recently reported figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act about how many police officers have registered business interests. Apparently, they have the right to know what we do in our own private time away from work.

In their article “Officers moonlighting as models“, they revealed that 1.5% of Met officers were earning money ‘on the side’ doing things like hypnotherapy, bouncy castle hire, film extra work, massage, building, entertainment, photography, writing and floristry.

Time was that police officers were banned from earning any income ovber & above their police salary. Around 10 years ago (age & withering brain cells prevent me from remembering exactly) someone realised that it might actually be illegal for such stipulations on our private lives & officers were allowed to earn other money outside police work in their own time, provided certain sources were avoided. Security work, for instance was still banned, as is anything to do with licenced premises, although why a serving police officerw old want anything to do with guarding a building site or running a pub on their day off is beyond me.

By pure coincidence, I assume, at around the same time as the article broke, the Chief Constable of Cheshire, Peter Fahy, withdrew the right to a registered business interest from his officers. Doubtless the catwalks suddenly emptied, kids were chucked off bouncy castles throughout the land and the entire cast of extras on The Bill vanished overnight, as all officers in Cheshire were forced to cease their moonlighting ways.

One interesting knock-on from this is about a certain Police Recruitment Consultancy mentioned here called In2Blue have been forced to cancel their forthcoming courses, refund everyone who had paid, & shut their website down with a notice explaining the sudden lack of business. Although they do say it is a ‘temporary’ issue we have yet to see how things will develop in Cheshire, or whether the Federation or any interested legal parties start issuing writs against the chief for trampling over the human rights of his officers.

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