A police officer at West Midlands Police station in the UK turned himself into the internal discipline unit after a joke made its way onto the internet. Police officers at the station became frustrated after prosecutors repeatedly requested a statement about a crime from another member of the force, PC Peach, a police dog.
While it was apparent the prosecutors were unaware of Peach’s status as a K9, the officers decided to complete the form as if the Alsatian has completed it. The statement read, “I chase him. I bite him. Bad man. He tasty. Good boy. Good boy Peach,” and was signed with a paw print.
The intention wasn’t to turn the form into prosecutors. Instead, offers pinned the document up at the police station for colleagues to enjoy based on the fact that members of the station at times didn’t see eye-to-eye with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in regards to the handling of cases.
Initially, the document was on available in the West Midlands Police station, until another officer photographed the page. The photo ended up on a Facebook page dedicated to “cop humour.”
The photo was removed from the Facebook page, but not before another station in West Yorkshire posted the image on Twitter, where it was shared more than 150 times.
CPS officials are believed not to have appreciated the joke based on the mistake regarding PC Peach’s identity being turned into a public gag. The West Midland Police’s Professional Standards Department is considering looking into the case while PC Mark Tissington, the officer who shared the photo, referred himself to the internal discipline unit.
A statement from DCI Julian Harper of the West Midlands Police, as reported by the Daily Mail, said, “early inquiries suggest it is a light-hearted exchange as a result of a misunderstanding around a police dog and a police officer,” further clarifying that an internal investigation is indeed taking place.
The chairman of the Police Federation’s West Midlands branch said, “It’s a difficult time for police, and sometimes humor is a way of venting frustrations.” He goes on to urge the Professional Standards Department to handle the incident in an “even-handed” way.
Other have also shown support for the officers involved in the incident over social media, including a cop humor page:
And one featuring a member of another K9 unit:
— WY Police Dogs (@WYPDogs) February 17, 2013
The CPS has not commented on the incident.
The incident comes just a week after new guidelines were revealed regarding police use of the internet and the recommendation against sharing “operational material” online.