Hundreds of weird gifts – including half a plastic bags’ worth of Scottish peat – have been offered to police officers in Nottinghamshire.
An umbrella, a scarf, Champagne and a coffee machine all make the list of gifts and offers of hospitality received by the police since 2014.
A police dog was offered a dog chew and a bone by a member of the public – this offer was accepted.
Alcohol is one of the most common gifts for officers, including a bottle of Bacardi rum and several bottles of whisky – however all offers of alcohol have been declined, in keeping with the official force guidelines.
Victims of crime, foreign governments and local mosques, synagogues and churches have all made offers of gifts to police constables and senior officers.
A skincare gift set and a coffee machine were accepted by one constable, while chocolates, costume jewellery, a purse, candle holders and foot cream were accepted by another, from the family of a victim of crime.
A spokesman for the police said all gifts are recorded whether accepted or refused.
He said: “During the course of their work, police officers or police staff may receive offers of gifts and hospitality.
“The most fundamental element of the gifts and hospitality policy is that staff and officers are in positions where they serve the public and therefore the public have a right to expect them to do so: selflessly; with integrity and objectivity; are accountable, open, honest and lead by example.
“All offers of gifts and hospitality, whether accepted or rejected, must be recorded in the gifts and hospitality register.
“On most occasions it would be inappropriate to accept them, although there may be specific circumstances where it would be appropriate.
“Therefore, offers of gifts and hospitality should typically be declined, except where there is a valid reason to believe that refusing the offer may cause offence or damage working relationships.
“The register provides a mechanism for recording offers of gifts and hospitality, action taken (i.e. acceptance or rejection) and the rationale for the chosen action. It enables individuals to conduct operational relationships without fear of subsequent allegations of impropriety.”
15 bizarre gifts made to Nottinghamshire Police
1. An officer received a bundle of gifts in 2015 from the parent of a missing person. These including biscuits, chocolate, chocolate liqueurs and some ‘stockings’. Only the biscuits were accepted.
2. A half-filled carrier bag of Scottish peat was accepted by a constable from the father of a victim in January 2017.
3. A New South Wales police hat from Australia was accepted back in June 2017 by a police delegation during an overseas visit.
4. £10 was offered to a detective constable by the mother of an RTC victim. However, this offer was declined. One officer registered an offer of £2 from a member of the public, but also declined the gift.
5. Two officers registered scrap wood as a gift – one from builders who were due to put the wood in a skip, and another from building work at Oxclose Lane Station.
6. A painting by a victim of crime was presented to a constable back in May 2016. This was accepted.
7. A small pair of binoculars was given by a Dutch Police delegation in April last year. They came complete with a belt pouch, and were accepted. The delegation also gave top cops at the force some embossed battery packs, a pack of dutch biscuits and some key rings.
8. The partner of a person involved in a fatal road traffic collision gave a detective constable a scarf, coaster and vase.
9. A pumpkin was offered and accepted to raise money for a charity.
10. The mother of a victim of crime gave a constable a low GI dieting cookbook. This was accepted.
11. Home-made jam was also registered twice – both from the family of crime victims.
12. A coat hook, lip balm, an ornament and a book were offered and accepted by an officer back in 2016.
13. Two scarf and glove sets were offered and accepted in November 2016.
14. A knitted doll was accepted by a PCSO from a member of the public in 2014.
15. Some sesame seed rice paper was offered by a relative of a victim of crime, to a detective sergeant. It was accepted.
Kit Sandeman , Local Democracy Reporting Service