The Metropolitan Police Service has finally recognised the changing nature of the modern workplace and begun allowing officers to mark the end of the working week by wearing civilian clothes on a Friday.
‘This is all about bringing policing in line with other professions,’ said Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson looking young and hip in chinos, open-neck shirt and beige knitwear. ‘We are also introducing water-coolers on street corners for our bobbies on the beat to stop for refreshment and a chat, while pursuit drivers are now able to personalise their cars with furry dice, comedy sirens and ‘prisoner on board’ stickers.’
To better reflect the 21st century office environment, uniformed police officers will be able to come to work on a Friday in their own clothes, sit around emailing jokes and gossip to colleagues, wander around aimlessly for a while with a piece of paper in their hand as if undertaking important business, and then knock off about 3pm to go to the pub. A number of officers will also be able to work from home on Fridays by responding to 999 calls with a promise to ‘pop by next week’.
‘This is about changing the culture of the police force, so it’s up to everyone to adapt,’ continued Stephenson. ‘Undercover and plain-clothes detectives will from now on wear full uniform on a Friday, and we have asked criminals to recognise the start of the weekend by going about their law-breaking in black-and-white stripy pyjamas while carrying a holdall marked ‘swag’ over their shoulder. We hoped that last initiative might lead to a few more arrests, but we keep losing suspects as they flee over zebra crossings.’
Questions have been asked of the Met’s new approach, though, after a student fees protest held on a Friday ended in chaos. ‘Our casually-dressed policemen tried to contain the rioting students, but it proved difficult to correctly identify the troublemakers,’ said Stephenson. ‘Sadly a number of officers ended up accidentally brutalising their colleagues and we’ve now got 30 men on sick leave after falling down flights of stairs.’
29th December 2010