90 days from today is Tue, 17 September 2024

Wiltshire Police Federation

I got involved in something off duty, what can I claim?

There are no Regulations or PNB Agreements covering this issue. It is generally accepted that 'off duty' officers place themselves 'on duty' when acting in purported performance of their duties as constables, all officers will be regarded as being 'on duty' and thus be afforded the protection that such a state entails. If in so doing, however, they commit any illegal act(s) the position becomes less clear and it could well be held that they are not acting in execution of their duty. 

There is sometimes a discussion to be had about whether the officer did any more than a member of the public would have done in the same circumstances. Police officers are in an interesting position because we do not really have the option to walk on by and ignore a situation requiring an intervention. Managers being asked to authorise overtime for what an officer did off duty should consider how they would respond to a complaint that an off-duty officer did not act. Would the manager be considering misconduct for neglect of duty? We suggest that in most cases there will be a valid claim. 

If this has happened to you or to an officer, you supervise, talk it through and exercise common sense and fairness on both sides.