Can An Off-Duty Police Officer Bully Me?



Dear Crimebodge,

If a police person lives next door to you and makes your life hell by intimating they are above the law  – although they are not on duty – how would we go about making a complaint please.

Reader A.

‘A policeman is never off duty’ so the saying goes. But it’s actually a policeman’s EGO that never clocks off… 


Imagine how tough it must be driving a patrol car around as your day job, watching lines of traffic unzipping themselves like Dave Lee Travis’s trousers. Or strutting around with a tit on your head, having members of the public study their feet whenever you make eye contact.


Then, you go home, peel off the fancy dress and are back to being Nobby Nobody: Clogged up in traffic and scowled at by ne’er do wells.


What’s the point of being a copper if you can’t flash it about whenever it takes your fancy?


Well contrary to popular myth, an off-duty cop without his warrant card has no more powers than you or I. Even if they attempt to make an arrest.


Without a warrant card, they are effectively powerless.


And even when they are carrying their ‘License to Bully’ woe betide any off-duty cop that wants to make the same kind of petty minded arrest he wouldn’t think twice about making on-duty. Not only could he face disciplinary action if the charges are dropped, he will also be regarded as an almighty suck up by other officers, and likely to have his chicken curry gobbed in come the lunch run.


If you ever find yourself shoved about by an off-duty cop, ask to see their warrant card. If they don’t show it, then call the police yourself. This should quickly nullify plod if he doesn’t scarper.


But even if they DO flash their membership card to the ‘League of Bastard’ that does not give them carte blanche to throw their weight about during civil disputes with neighbours.


In all likelihood your plod neighbour is committing a series of disciplinary offences under Schedule 1, Regulation 4 (1) of the Police Discipline Regulations 1985, which state:-


1. Discreditable conduct, which offence is committed where a member of a police force acts in a disorderly manner or any manner prejudicial to discipline or reasonably likely to bring discredit on the reputation of the force or the police service.


7. Corrupt or improper practice, which offence is committed where a member of a police force-

c) Improperly uses or attempts so to use his position as a member of the force for his private advantage


8. Abuse of authority, which offence is committed where a member of a police force treats any person with whom he may be brought into contact in the execution of his duty in an oppressive manner and, without prejudice to the foregoing, in particular where he-

(c) is abusive or uncivil to any member of the public.


Perhaps you should make your neighbour aware of this legislation, as it will soon modify his behaviour. The one thing that scares a cop more than anything is being discredited by the force.


It’s your greatest Trump card. Play it..


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