Police chief urges Northampton officers to take their breaks in public

Nick Adderley (centre) says officers can still respond to incidents during meal breaks
Nick Adderley (centre) says officers can still respond to incidents during meal breaks

Police officers should take their breaks in cafes and sandwich shops to give them an edge over criminals, Northamptonshire's chief constable has said.

Nick Adderley said some members of the public still believed officers should not be visibly taking time out among the people they protect.

But the chief constable believes doing so can have a number of benefits for the public.

He said on Twitter: "I encourage my officers and staff to have their break in public, not cooped away in a police station somewhere.

"[It's] better for wellbeing, for engagement and to react and respond to an incident.

"[The] majority of the public get and appreciate this, the minority- well what can I say!!"

Mr Adderley cited as an example the robbers who were caught holding up the Starbucks drive-thru at St James Retail park by two armed officers who were taking a time-out.

He has been backed by Northamptonshire officers who gave recent examples of arrests made on the back of intelligence gathered while on their break.

And their support was echoed by several members of the public on social media.

Derek Taylor said: "Personally I think it's great to see them out and about as in any case they're never really off duty."

Robert Moon said: "I was fortunate to be seconded to the Police in the USA for four months.

"It was absolutely normal to go into a cafe or restaurant and sit down for a meal. Not just takeaways. The public seemed to love it and so did I because I could talk to them. Should be the norm here too."

Sarge Mart praised Mr Adderley for giving the policy a high profile.

He said: "Great call for the staff. Everyone knows where they stand.

"As for the minority, well try and be more accepting if you can.

"Personally if an officer is there, it makes me, an older member of the public feel safer."