back to article Knuckle rap for riot shield sledging coppers

A group of Oxfordshire coppers caught on camera using a riot shield as an improvised sledge have had their knuckles rapped by their unimpressed superintendent: The original vid was posted on YouTube by Rick Latham, who was on Boars Hill, Oxford, on Tuesday when a group of officers approached him. He told BBC news: "I …


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  1. C Yates

    Makes you wonder...

    ... what they use their nightsticks for ^_^

    I agree with the bloke who posted it on youtube - it's nice to see the police having a sense of humour for once =)

  2. PsychicMonkey

    I'm not suprised...

    they were reprimanded. There was someone usig video recording equipment, they shoul dhave been harrassing him!

    That'll learn 'em!

    Fail, because god forbid coppers should be normal people....

  3. Mark 140

    Won't someone please think of the taxpayers?

    As a taxpayer I wholeheartedly endorse this video. It brightened my day! The officers involved should be given a day off!

    Thanks, Old Bill!

  4. Shadowthrone

    Over reaction by Superintendant

    Surely this is just the right thing for the Police to show at times, it lets people know that Police Officers are human too and not stoney faced authoritarian figues. If I saw a could of policeman having a quick go at sledging with the public I would be amused not outraged.

    Admitedly using a riot shield was probably not the best idea, but hey....better that than the usual reason it is taken out of the van.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Over reaction by Superintendant

      I agree.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Some will say tobogganning won't lead to other things. I say it's a slippery slope.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      You owe me ...

      ... a new keyboard, you pillock!! 8^)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Not THE Rick Latham who founded The Internet Bookshop, later to become WHSmith Online?!! :-O

  7. lukewarmdog

    This is what happens when..

    Police DON'T arrest someone taking photos of them.

  8. Rob


    Leave'em alone, nice to see something showing the Police are actually human.

    I want a riot shield next time it snows they look quality :D

    1. MattWPBS

      Too right.

      Looks like they work much better than a dinghy.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    No Sense Of Humour

    Supt Andrew Murray needs to get back in his broom cupboard and lighten up, the coppers are only human and having a laugh.

  10. Code Monkey

    Supt Andrew Murray

    Joyless bastard. A rare story about coppers just being human and they get bollocked for it.

  11. iworm

    ... and also

    And he went on to say "And the terrorist suspect who filmed them has been detained and will be dealt with in the near future using a new jury-less trial system"

  12. Efros
    Thumb Down

    I think

    The senior officer should away an bile his heid!

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Priorities are clear

    What a revealing insight into the thinking of senior police supervisors. Reprimand officers when they act like human beings (and cover up for them when they don't).

  14. Gulfie


    ... clearly cuts no ice with this man. Let's hope the video doesn't cause this behaviour to snowball, or they'll all be on thin ice.

    Sorry, but code reviews are SO boring.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like fun

    A fairly expensive version of the cheap "bum tray" thingies.

    Anyway, they had some fun. Locals were amused. Daily Hate readers were placated. Bit of press. All are happy.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    much rather

    I'd much rather see friendly coppers doing their jobs by keeping an eye on kids out of schools closed by snow also having a bit of fun with their riot shields, than the injury on my son's face which occurred when he was attending a peaceful climate camp demo and was attacked by a police constable with removed shoulder numbers using his riot shield as an offensive weapon. On that occasion out of control police also attacked a newspaper vendor who later died .

  17. eJ2095


    Not happy my tax money is being spent on this was blah blah blah lol only kidding..

    Fair play to them beats beating a protester around teh head with them...

  18. Lionel Baden

    Good on them

    good for community relations

    Superintendant is a dick

    i know i know what if he broke the shield or a bone etc etc


    he can pay for the shield (which i personally would be worried if it broke cause its supposed to stop brick projectiles and cave in heads )

    Keeps on sledding bobby's

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Joined up thinking

    Brownie points to these police for taking the chance to engage with the community!

    I'd have done the same if presented with the perfect sledge and perfect hill, as they were.

  20. Stone Fox

    Join the police...

    leave your sense of humour at the door.

    on a slightly more serious (?!) note, I think that reprimanding them for this is a bit of a public relations cock up.

  21. Rob 30

    yay the cops!

    fair play to 'em, it worked a lot better than i thought it would, nice run.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    is it just me?

    or does the phrase "two of them went down on their shields" give the wrong kind of mental image.

  23. Vincent Ballard


    What were they doing outside on duty when there was snow on the ground? Had they filled in a risk assessment form covering potential injuries due to slipping?

  24. Terry Dooher

    Good for them.

    It it just me or does that scene look like a live-action Banksy painting?

    Ditto the sentiment above, too. That video is a better PR job for the police than anything I've seen in years.

  25. John G Imrie

    Community Policing.

    Supt Andrew Murray should be giving away medals not reprimanding those men. This one act will do wonders for people's opinion of the Police.

  26. LinkOfHyrule

    The standard of policing in Oxfordshire is going down hill

    It's actually nice to see the Police doing something fun/normal/whatever for once. This is probably the best bit of police PR since, urrm, in a long time!

    Sorry about the bad pun, I know it's snow joke is it!

  27. Campbeltonian


    Maybe their super suspected them of playing Speed Beer?

    I would have thought that they would have been able to justify this as something like 'community outreach'. It's quite refreshing to have the police use riot shields with you rather than against you.

    Unfortunately it seems that, while the plod are human beings, the ones in charge certainly aren't.

  28. Richard Hodgson
    Thumb Up

    Gotta say...

    This is getting involved with the community at its best - Showing that the police are human and have a sense of humour too.

    Then the superintendent had to go and spoil it all!

  29. Robert Grant


    ...the world's biggest surveillance net consists of people with mobile phones uploading to youtube. Volunteer-based monitoring!

  30. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Notting Hill Cranival

    I dread to think how those occasionally extremely jovial coppers at Notting Hill Carnival and other public events are perceived by their commanders. Don't they realise that the public actually prefer to see the police revealed as only human ?

    These coppers could have gone one better ... I'm thinking of "Mossley Dome Riding" from up t'north way back in the 70's - tie a dustbin lid to a vehicle and go land-surfing. That's a much better use of a riot shield and a tactical support vehicle than many others I can think of.

  31. Robin Bradshaw

    happy to see my tax used in this way

    Its a pleasant change to see the police joining in with the community they should be commended for generating goodwill, but i assume they were really reprimanded for not beating they guy doing the filming to a pulp stealing his camera phone, arresting him and putting him on the dna database.

  32. Elmer Phud
    Thumb Up

    Want one!!!

    Those little round sheilds seem to be just the job. I wonder how the longer ones perform on snow.

    If their super wants to tell them off, it should have been for not wearing protective headgear. Bloody good advert for joining the force.

  33. Danny 17


    Nothing wrong with what these cops did.... At the end of the day like others have said its nice to see them interacting with the public.

    Supt Andrew Murray should get it own arse out of the office, get on the street and do things like that... then and maybe then the public may get on the side of the cops.

  34. Rob 5

    I agree...

    ... with all those who said that the Super made a mistake.

    Those coppers pulled off a blinding bit of community outreach, at no cost to the taxpayer and without getting involved with a load of paperwork and useless bureaucrats.

    Perhaps that last is why the Super's unhappy about it?

  35. Matt 116

    Its all forms forms forms

    I'm not surprised the Superintendent is annoyed. He will have to employ someone to create an entirely new form for the officers to fill out. That and he will get a kicking from health and safety over the illegal use of a riot shield. I can see those officers wasting more time filling out forms about the incident than they did doing the actual sledging!

  36. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Superintendent deserves a bollocking..

    .. for wasting the benefits that the jolly coppers brought to public relations.

    Or maybe that's precisely the problem - somewhere a pork barrel public relations consultant has just found himself having to explain fees when a bunch of coppers behave like normal human beings and get almost universal praise for it.

    Off with his head! No, wait, wrong century..

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon


      "Off with his head! No, wait, wrong century.."

      Don't speak too soon, it's only 10 years in after all.

  37. Jimbo 6

    I'm amazed

    All those coppers, and not a single one of them used the anti-terror legislation to stop him filming ?

  38. N2

    The moral of this story

    Is that Id rather see a copper sledging on a riot shield than using it for its intended purpose.

    Clearly the superintendent has other ideas.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well they could do it on their own time

    and use their own equipment. Of course Police are human, and that makes them fallible. Problem is the laws are just ridiculous, so the Police spend most of their time running around doing useless stuff at the beck and call of their political masters.

    Wasn't there a murder to solve or an accident to attend, probably the later with the snow. All very amusing until you realise someone may have been dying of hypothermia in an upturned car. Police sledge whilst UK freezes.

    1. Martin 66
      Thumb Down

      with that sort of attitude

      You could be a police Super Intendent !

      Or you could get a job writing sh1te for the Daily Mail.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      You are in the wrong place ...

      .. this isn't the Daily Mail/Express website. People here have common sense. Oh, wait - you are the Superintendent, aren't you??

    3. Havin_it

      ODFO, dear.

      I'm a bit stumped. How were you able to determine that all half-dozen officers in that film had turned off their squalkie-talkies and/or were ignoring their dispatcher?

      As for solving murders, I'm pretty sure that's more the CID's department.

  40. Arse Face


    Lets not forget that Supt. Murray only reminded them, and not reprimanded. Lets be honest, he had to be seen to be taking some kind of action, otherwise he'd be facing the backlash of the Daily Mail readership. Which he probably already is anyway, since they'll be still be expecting these police officers heads on a stick. 'Torture is too good for 'em' & ' Too busy fooling about, letting all the foreign rapists roam free' etc etc.. Besides, he probably had a laugh at the video too.

    On the other hand, my boss would have sacked me instantly if he had seen just how many pirouette's my company vehicle can do in his company car park the other week...

  41. Harry the snot gobbler

    Lazy so and sos

    No time to look for my bike that got nicked but plenty of time for sledging hey?

    I'm so glad my taxes are paying for them to go sledging during work time instead of helping the elderly do their shopping or clear their paths in all this snow. Wonder if you'd like your water rates to pay for me to go sledging too?

    I'm with Supt Andrew Murray on this one, do some work you lazy layabouts

  42. EnricoSuarve

    We'll have no community policing here...

    Since we are now reprimanding policemen for improper use of riot shields I expect we will see full public reprimands of the G20 officers who used the edges of their shields to batter down unarmed protesters from behind?

    No? How odd.

    Its depressing that a group of coppers actually showing a human side are reprimanded with far more speed than officers who beat up or even kill civilians. Good on this lot - nice to know there are still some human beings inside those uniforms.

  43. webdragon

    Leave em be

    i say leave em be, Let them have a little fun, like a normal human for a change. Maybe it'll cause them to be less grumpy during that next traffic stop.

  44. Anonymous Coward


    I am jealous of this lot...I havent been sledging once...too busy writing crap for the Daily Mail!

  45. Daniel Voyce
    Thumb Up

    Miserable Git

    Really good for community spirit if your local officers are out having a laugh - more nanny state stupidness.

    1. cosmogoblin

      Good plan by the Super

      The guy knows how to publish a story. Stage a publicity shot talking about coppers doing good for the community? Only a soft-news local rag will cover it.

      On the other hand, if he publicly denounces what they've done - even though smiling inside and offering to buy them all a pint at the weekend - bam! National news coverage of policemen being nice, friendly, and very much the mythical "bobbies on the beat".

      This guy would make a shrewd politician.

  46. Al fazed

    Arse ! Fek

    And the Superintendant was watching Youtube when ?


  47. Stuart Rogers

    It's the future of policing...

    Although, like most commentators here, I think Supt Andrew Murray needs to lighten up a bit, there is a potentially sinister aspect to this...

    When global warming really kicks in and the Gulf Stream switches off, the UK will see more winters like this. Want to know how the police will go into battle against the massed ranks of warrior eco-hippies whilst up to their ankles in snow? These seemingly playful bobbies have shown the way. This isn't innocent fun but training material.

    1. c0rruptd
      Thumb Up

      Bowling bobbies

      Thanks, now I can't get the image of a dozen coppers in full riot gear sledging down a hill on shields into a pack of protestors and leveling them ten-pin-bowling-style...

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    BBC weatherman

    Showed this on New24 this morning, the guy that was doing the weather straight after this clip was shown was laughing and saying "why not, it's only a bit of harmless fun, I'd have done it myself yesterday if I had the time"

    I'd say if it was a member of the public going down on the shield (stop sniggering at the back) it would have been a little different but come on... opportunities knock...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Just dumb

    First decent 'cops are human too' images for ages and some deskbound fuckwit with a rulebook screws it up.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You bunch of fecking hippocrites!

      You lot saying that he should lighten up, will be the first to say "Police should stop wasting our time and money on this trivial..." whatever it is, next time they do something you lot don't agree with!

      They can't win can they?!?

      Sorry but in this instance, they should have set a more mature example while on duty. When the shift finishes, chuck your selves down Box Hill on a tea-tray for all I care, but when I am paying your wages, act like you should and stop wating my time and money!

  50. John Dougald McCallum
    Thumb Up

    today at work

    "I'd be amazed if there's a single person in this country who hasn't themselves taken a few minutes from work either turning up late, going a few minutes early, taking a slightly longer lunch than they intended, going for a smoke break, browsing the Internet, taking personal phone calls, having personal conversations, making themselves a cup of tea and so on."

    you have just described the day to day activity of 90% of the work force at the factory where I work Oh and Supt Murray get a life this was good community relations.

  51. F MacIllFhinnein

    Superintendent falls flat on face

    How did he get to that rank (I know, I know - it's all about rolled-up trouser legs) babbling nonsense like "to progress"?

    Mine's the coat with the dictionary in the pocket.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would never happen in Bedfordshire....

    The police are too busy chasing around stopping people having sex in cars...

  53. Anonymous Coward


    I'm going to refrain from bashing the Senior Officer. As a matter of policy and police discipline a public reprimand goes a long way. What he said to them in private and the fact that no disciplinary action was taken; gives some clue as to the good Supt. real feelings on the matter.

    But that did make my day.

  54. AgeingBabyBoomer

    Hmmm, is it just me

    that wonders why rural coppers need to be wandering around with riot shields.

    What possible use could they have for them, apart from sledging?

  55. Mike Moyle

    Look at it this way...

    The Super's covered his ass AND he's got a lot of people who normally slag off the police voicing support for his boys...

    Sounds like he's come up with a win/win strategy to me!

  56. b166er

    It's all good

    Police officers show that not all of them are Gestapo and Suoerintendant gives the ticking off he has to. Nothing to see here, move along....

  57. Stan 2

    Hats of to them

    Should be promoted, not put down for this. British police often act more like machines than people, nice to see they are human for a change.

  58. OldDogNewWalk
    Thumb Down

    This just proves the saying..

    9 times out of 10 there is nothing wrong with the staff, it's the management that are plonkers

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aw bless 'em

    I'm surprised they didn't round off their mornings fun by giving the guy filming a good section fifty-eighting.

    The police should attempt to draw a useful lesson from this - we really do want to like them if they would only give us a reason. Comments on the police related stories on these pages are invariably 90 percent negative toward the police, often vehemently so. Yet one little 'cuddly copper' story (about coppers with riot shields very conveniently to hand in rural Nowhereshire) and we all go a bit gooey, forgiving and start seeing them as human after all. A little less zero tolerance and a bit more common sense might work wonders on the public attitude and reduce the growing contempt in which they are now held. A little demonstrable humanity goes a long way.

  60. James 63

    Bah humbug

    ...this would be Supt Andrew Murray of the fun police obviously.

  61. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Go Mr Plodd


  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Of course they got into trouble, you can't be scary SS members if you're happily sledging down a snowy bank now can you?

  63. Ben Rosenthal
    Thumb Up

    leave 'em alone I say!

    rather see them engaging members of the community than tasing, shooting or kettling them.

    Police management really really stink at PR!

    This is what the public want to an extent, police being visible and present in thier communities, looking out for the public interest rather than the companies and organisations that made the right political donations.

  64. Inachu

    I see nothing wrong with this video

    Perhaps just just got done doing a house invasion clearing up druggies,pimps and illegals and they are breaking the ice to feel normal again from the high stress that they were just in.

    So psychological wise this is an awsome stress buster.

    But then again it could be a new hire who just wants to scratch his shield so he won't look like a noob/greenback to other fellow officers.

    1. Spleen


      "Perhaps just just got done doing a house invasion clearing up druggies,pimps and illegals"


      Yes, and after they were done busting their stress they went to catch some burglars (and returned the stolen property), clipped some loitering hoodies round the ear, and gave the time of day to a young lady without truncheoning her in the face and calling her a c--t.

      Which decade do you live in and can I come live there?

  65. Anonymous Coward


    …should send a link to these comments to that superintendant.

    It will show that miserable sod how out of touch he is with public opinion.

    I like many others here thinbk it is refreshing to see officers spending a few minutes to conect with the public and show a lighter sode to their nature, there will be plenty of time to look all mean and nasty when they have criminals to arrest.

  66. JaitcH

    A good piece of PR

    Given the deservedly harsh comments on the Gestapo-like habits of the British police, this brain-dead 'superior' officer should have let things be, as it added a human side to what is generally perceived to ACPO.s jackboot policies - many of which are illega;.

  67. AndyG_IOM

    Awesome !!

    I have to say i think i would have laughed sooo hard if i had seen this.

    Nice to see the human side of policing for a change.

    mind you would a really good run get a score of .....9.....9.......9 lol.

    Hats off to them, personally id like to shake them by the hand and buy em each a pint !!

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