Oxford cops reprimanded for tobogganing on riot shields

London Oxford cops who used their riot shields for toboggans during the recent, unprecedented snowy weather have been reprimanded by their Superintendent, Andrew Murray, who "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."

Hell, I'd rather have them tobogganing on the things than using them to beat up peaceful protesters at Climate Camp.

Police sledge with riot shields (Thanks, Alice!)


  1. London police, eh? Hm. What were they doing in Oxford then? And why were they from the Thames Valley Police Force rather than the Metropolitan?

    There are some bits of South East England that aren’t London, you know.

  2. Swords into plowshares. I’d rather they be sledging than being used to beat someone’s face in. They should be rewarded for a public display of humanity.

  3. It is a little sad that they were reprimanded for doing something so human, personable and lighthearted — attributes I would prefer to see in police more often.

  4. What a great hill! Looks like harmless good fun to me.

    But isn’t it illegal to videotape police in the UK these days? I can only hope the law will be upheld, and the person who filmed this prosecuted immediately.

  5. Every day, I get up and pray to Jah
    And he increases the number of clocks by exactly one
    Everybody’s comin’ home for lunch these days
    Last night there were Bobbies on my lawn
    Take the Bobbies sledding
    Take them sledding

    And this is just to complete the BB meme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81TaTpfknVQ

  6. It’s not as if they were playing a suspect’s Wii instead of serving an important search warrant. Cops acting like human beings. Can’t have that.

  7. Given the recent post about Boston cop shenanigans, I yearn for the child-like glee of using riot gear as snow toys.

  8. Hooray for the Oxford coppers! This is exactly the kind of outreach they need. “See? We’re people too!” A little humour never hurt anyone. And yes, swords to ploughshares, and shields to sleds! They should have had more, let some little kids have a ride. Do wonders for them.

  9. Whenever it snows around here there’s always a rise in recycling box theft. Both the boxes and lids are favourites for hurtling down hills on.

  10. It’s generally the Metropolitan (London) police that get upset by photographers.

    It’s never been illegal to photograph a police officer.

    What you are thinking of is probably Section 58a of the Terrorism Act 2000.

    From http://www.met.police.uk/about/photography.htm

    Section 58a of the Terrorism Act 2000 covers the offence of eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of the armed forces, intelligence services or police.

    Any officer making an arrest for an offence under Section 58a must be able to demonstrate a reasonable suspicion that the information was of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

    It should ordinarily be considered inappropriate to use Section 58a to arrest people photographing police officers in the course of normal policing activities, including protests, as without more, there is no link to terrorism.

  11. most probably reprimanded because they hadn’t completed any risk assessment paperwork and didn’t possess the correct qualification / competency certificate for sledging on riot shields… ;)

    they could have seriously injured themselves, or far worse, collided with someone else and injured them…

    that’s the problem with this litigious culture we’ve inherited and perverted from the USAnians… the supervisors have got to cover themselves by insisting upon an absolute mountain of paperwork being in order for any task to proceed purely because their bosses insist on this paperwork and procedures being in place and being followed so they can absolve themselves of blame if the slightest hint of anything incorrectly filled in is found…

    there was a case recently of a policeman refusing to be photographed seated on a bicycle for a photo opportunity because he didn’t have the relevant qualification…

  12. Their superintendent has obviously had his humour chip removed. Good grief man, the police have had a very bad press recently having harassed innocent hobbyist photographers and seemingly being heavy-handed at demonstrations. To see a bit of light relief like this from the boys in blue makes a pleasant change.

  13. just an FYI i am an American Student studying abroad at OXFORD university this winter semester, AND a daily Boing Boing reader, and try as i might, i have seen no instances of police hostility or corruption. In fact they have been very helpful. they are not hurting anybody let them have fun!!

    by the way, there is a STEAMPUNK exhibit at one of the science musuems here, fanatistic i must say! and a natural history museum! hooray for knowledge and learning!!!!!

    Kyle L.

    1. Kyle L. – thanks for mentioning to steampunk exhibit in Oxford, I’ll definitely have to plan a visit soon!


  14. seemingly being heavy-handed at demonstrations.

    don’t dress it down, man….

    Ian Tomlinson was murdered by Met police at the 2009 G20 summit.

    BTW – can someone please track down the name of the cop who actually hit Ian Tomlinson?! The public should know, so we can make his life as much of a hell as the Tomlinson family’s life has become thanks to his stupid cop behaviour.

    Why do the words “fat” and “ugly” so easily define the majoirty of cops? Because the majority are complete social fuck-ups who figure the only way anyone will ever pay attention to them is to get a position which demands unearnt respect. Stupid people doing an important job is a dangerous thing.

  15. I should think their superior officer ‘HAD’ to reprimand them – a video of them having fun on duty shows up to youtube, there would definitely be a few people complaining, you know, the type of people who forgot what having fun means about 20 years ago, the type of people I feel very, very sorry for.

  16. I didnt know tobogganing required learning… I always found combining snow, something slippery and gravity was a pretty good recipe for success.

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