Liverpool armed policeman disciplined after popping into bike shop while on duty

In separate incident, another Merseyside Police officer arrested for alleged theft of bike

by Simon_MacMichael   August 7, 2011  

Merseyside Police badge.jpg

An armed police officer from Merseyside Police has been disciplined after wandering into a bike shop to look at the bicycles on display with his sidearm still on his belt. In a separate incident, another member of the force has been arrested in connection with the alleged theft of a bicycle.

Many cyclists who have found themselves passing a bike shop while on work time will have popped in to have a quick look at the goods on offer, but according to the Liverpool Echo, the entry of the armed officer into Formby Cycles on Altcar Road, Formby, unsurprisingly raised eyebrows.

One eyewitness said: “When I saw an armed officer walk in, I thought something might have been wrong so I hung around to watch.” As you do. “But he was just in there like a normal customer, looking at what bikes they had. These guys should be out on patrol, doing their job and fighting gun crime, not shopping for bikes,” he added.

The unnamed officer’s colleague remained outside in their unmarked police car, but like his bike-keen colleague, who according to the newspaper spent a “considerable time” ogling bicycles in the shop, he too has been reprimanded.

Chief Inspector Mark Stanton, head of firearms for Merseyside Police, commented: “I would like to apologise to the local community for the behaviour of these officers.

“As soon as the matter was brought to our attention, we immediately spoke to the officers who admitted that they should not have stopped at the shop while they were out on patrol.

“They have been given strong management advice and are fully aware that their actions did not reflect well on themselves, their colleagues or the force.

“They are in no doubt that their future conduct is under close scrutiny.

“While this behaviour is disappointing, the overwhelming majority of my staff are both conscientious and committed to protecting the public and providing an excellent policing service to our communities.”

Meanwhile, the Liverpool Echo reports that another Merseyside Police officer who serves on the Roads Policing Unit was arrested on Monday regarding the alleged theft of a bicycle.

A spokeswoman for the force told the Liverpool Echo: “The arrest follows an investigation into allegations about the theft of a bicycle in Southport on July 23.

“The officer, who is 49 years old, has been arrested and released on police bail pending further enquiries.

“He has been suspended from duty while the allegation of theft is investigated.”
 

12 user comments

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I see loads of police getting Burgers from McD at lunch time. At least this guy was healthy and has a decent hobby. It all depends if he was on his lunch. Let's face it he was not going to leave his firearm in the car and the bike shop was not going to get robbed while he was in there. They should let him off.

Giant Rob.
King of the East Midlands

posted by Giant Rob [60 posts]
7th August 2011 - 13:33

1 Like

We all do it we're out on the road.... whether we are a policeman or a IT/salesman etc...... In america police "duty visits" are part of the culture... lets all get real....

I feel sorry for the paper who and Why they had to publish it...

The police have a hard enough job to do over the next few years of AUSTERITY and it WILL get even harder...

PS I hope they return my Red Colnago Master 54cm Campy Super Record ASAP

ashy_2002's picture

posted by ashy_2002 [56 posts]
7th August 2011 - 16:33

1 Like

Ridiculous. Know the shop well. It has a lot of very exepensive bikes. Since Formby Cycles has had a couple of scallies running out with bikes in the past 18 months perhaps the copper should have said he was checking in with staff. I know they'd back him in that. The more coppers who ride bikes and talk to cyclists the better. The Echo's a rag - doesn't represent the people of Merseyside and should be ignored.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1070 posts]
7th August 2011 - 18:41

2 Likes

As a serving cop i have to be careful what i say BUT disciplining him is a bit rich unless it was because he was carrying his side arm ?

Beat officers and 24/7 responce officers are actively encouraged to go into shops to show their face and make shop keepers feel more secure.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2809 posts]
7th August 2011 - 20:50

1 Like

Give the copper break, he must be entitled to a rest period at some time. you should come to london the old bill are always in evans cycles in the cut, 4 at a time normally, whats the problem???

posted by leeallen [9 posts]
8th August 2011 - 7:39

1 Like

A shocking waste of police resources to discipline him for this. I think I'll be contacting Merseyside Police to complain about this!

The fact is we are going to get used to seeing more armed officers because of the high incidence of gun crime. (I think Nottingham still has armed patrols.) What's the first thing tourists see when they arrive at Heathrow? Armed officers with MP5s and Glocks.

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [290 posts]
8th August 2011 - 7:52

1 Like

I used to work in a bike shop and we had an armed copper in on quite a few occasions, buying bits and pieces, having a look and a chat. Actually worked both ways as he was able to tell us all the latest goings on. He got called out once - his colleague waiting in the unmarked car put the sirens on, the guy just stopped mid conversation, ran out the door and was in the car and away in seconds. Nice bloke and it seems a bit harsh to discipline a policeman just for being in a bike shop!

posted by crazy-legs [534 posts]
8th August 2011 - 9:40

1 Like

What a crock

As a serving PC ( and an ex firearms officer) I can tell you that we are all on the verge of giving up and leaving society to rot in its own filth. I'm sure the majority of the public support us but the media, politicians and even our own bosses seem to take every opportunity to score points at our expense and undermine us.
On ARV duty I was expected to be overtly armed at all times, but I am also entitled to a one hour lunch break in my ten hour shift. 95% of the time my colleagues and I don't get to take anywhere near this, if at all. We are encouraged to take our breaks publicly so as to still be available to the public and still provide a visible presence. But if this is the way they want to play it i'm going back to the nick, shutting the door and making damn sure I take a full hour off with no interruptions.

posted by mike78 [7 posts]
8th August 2011 - 10:58

1 Like

What with all of the public sector cuts, why is it that police forces are allowed to be so shockingly shambolically bad?. Every day sees a new example of the police epically failing and wasting public money. My parents like to watch those TV programmes like "Coppers in Choppers" etc, all I see is people who are hopelessly incompetent at their job, and in any other field would simply not have a job, nor a company to work for. If a library, hospital, day centre, school or business was as hopelessly bad, it would have been closed down years ago. From the genuinely tragic (Jean Charles de Menezes eg.) to the merely bathetic it seems that UK policing is so completely messed up as to be irreparable.
An example from my local paper, "The police helicopter was scrambled to stop a suspected drunk driver"
WTF?
A helicopter? at what £10,000 ph?
To achieve what could be done with two cars?
In the event the 'drunk driver' was not even drunk, just not very good at driving.
Or the 'Helicopters Heroes' of Oxfordshire who saw fit to respond to some children having a kickabout in a pub garden and who had accidentally broken a pane of glass in a neighbour's greenhouse?
http://bit.ly/qFwWEO
No offence intended to present company, who I am sure are wonderful, but in the above example WTF is this guy:
(Chief Inspector Mark Stanton, head of firearms for Merseyside Police,) thinking of?

“I would like to apologise to the local community for the behaviour of these officers.

“As soon as the matter was brought to our attention, we immediately spoke to the officers who admitted that they should not have stopped at the shop while they were out on patrol.

“They have been given strong management advice and are fully aware that their actions did not reflect well on themselves, their colleagues or the force.

“They are in no doubt that their future conduct is under close scrutiny.

“While this behaviour is disappointing, the overwhelming majority of my staff are both conscientious and committed to protecting the public and providing an excellent policing service to our communities.”

Does he have nothing better to do? Is there no press officer to deal with this? The copper in question was quite obviously doing nothing wrong or reprehensible and yet his cretin of a boss feels that this is an appropriate response. Despair.

posted by wakou [82 posts]
8th August 2011 - 13:03

1 Like

Oh ffs. It's not like he handed his sidearm to a crim 'here mind this while I have a look in this bike shop'. I hope the discipline fit the crime - no custard creams with his tea maybe?

posted by mrsminx411 [86 posts]
8th August 2011 - 14:55

1 Like

wakou wrote:
What with all of the public sector cuts, why is it that police forces are allowed to be so shockingly shambolically bad?.

I was going to say "take off your rose tinted glasses" but dont bother as people like yourself will find any excuse to have a pop at the police regardless of how wrong you will be.

On this occasion the result might be OTT but dont accuse all cops of being the same.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2809 posts]
8th August 2011 - 15:30

1 Like

I've mailed my complaint to MP and referred them to this site. Coppers are lambasted for sitting in their cars and not engaging with 'the community'. As soon as one does he gets reported by some sly busybody. Armed officers are constantly on alert so if one wants to take a break why not? The same busybody would soon be raging to the Echo if the officer concerned refused to answer a call because he or she was on an official rest break. I just hope the self righteous pillock isn't a cyclist.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1070 posts]
8th August 2011 - 15:42

1 Like