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The Forum > General Discussion > D'oh, what a nut!

D'oh, what a nut!

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Customers in a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop in Brisbane were appalled to witness a police officer demanding free doughnuts and getting into a heated argument with staff when they werenít forthcoming! [from this weekendís Courier Mail]

Krispy Kreme has been supplying free doughnuts to police for a long time. These were apparently left-overs at the end of the day that failed to sell. Theyíve stopped supplying them as a result of this argument and the embarrassing publicity.

The police officer has rightly been reprimanded by his colleagues and understandably vilified in the media and heavily criticised by the public.

But what about Krispy Kreme for giving out the freebies, or the police for accepting them? Arenít they both guilty of serious wrong-doing?

Isnít it very important that the police donít receive gifts, favours or any form of advantage from anyone, as a matter of principle?

The police have enormous discretionary powers. It is of fundamental importance that they exercise them without bias, and are seen to do so.

Even something as seemingly benign as free doughnuts for flabby coppers could be seenÖand Iíd suggest should be seenÖ.as a serious infringement.

Or is it just good practice to dish out little freebies and favours for the folk in blue, in the interests of keeping the peace with the constabulary?
Posted by Ludwig, Sunday, 1 February 2009 9:17:37 AM
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Ludwig,
Sadly the donuts and cops is reflection of US cop shows.
But you are right it is a breach of their Ďdisciplineí.
Trivial as free donuts are.

To me there three issues here the first is a policeman demanding freebees (arguing for an entitlement?) the police rules are clear and absolute this is soliciting favours.

The second is that police as individuals apparently accepting them. Accepting bribes?
To me the police while in uniform should behave in a scrupulous manner especially when public opinion of the police as a whole is on display. It is a truism of note that a police force canít do its role effectively without the confidence of the public.

When off duty be careful not to use their position to reinforce their personal issues. e. g. The POLICEWOMAN THAT IDENTIFIED HERSELF AS SUCH to enhance her credibility at a hysterical meeting against a monitored paedophile 15ks from where she lived.

KKD should if they want to give them to the police they should do so to the sergeant on duty at the desk for distribution at his discretion. In this way the link is broken between offer and acceptance and therefore the reasonable expectation of reciprocal favours.
Posted by examinator, Sunday, 1 February 2009 12:23:52 PM
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Krispy Kreme is but one of many fast food outlets that supplies free food to police. It has been going on for years and unless a new directive is laid down stringently by police authorities in consultation with fast food outlets that the practice is to desist, it will probably continue unabated.

In general public servants have been warned off even accepting lunch invitations from prospective tenderers or where there might be a conflict of interest. The same should apply to police. I should add that I don't think the police see the practice as a bribe - more a thank-you for doing a difficult job.
Posted by pelican, Sunday, 1 February 2009 1:39:00 PM
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Give them the doughnuts...
They get chucked out at the end of the day anyway.
Every job has its perks, and if all they're asking
for is doughnuts, I say, "Bon Apetite!"
Posted by Foxy, Sunday, 1 February 2009 3:17:15 PM
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Playfully ask, don't demand. Plenty of occupations give you the potential for gratuities without seriously compromising your integrity eg: free donuts.

If they say "don't worry about it" when you're handing over the cash, fair enough, but don't expect it.
Posted by StG, Sunday, 1 February 2009 5:10:09 PM
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Foxy, donít you think that favours beget favours?

Some (probably many) police would be inclined to give favourable treatment to those who supply them with perks compared to those who donít hand out any freebies, all else being equal.

Given that the police have such extraordinarily wide-ranging discretionary powers, to the point that they can haul someone up on the most minimal misdemeanour or turn a blind eye to quite serious infringements, it is of the utmost importance that they not get any form of favourable treatment.

Even if the police are entirely neutral when dealing with issues regarding those who have supplied favours, there will be a perception of bias in the eyes of those who know that they have been getting favours.

So I say, donít give the cops the doughnuts.

The other problem with this sort of thing is that businesses might come to feel that they have to provide the cops with some sort of freebies if there is a lot of that sort of thing happening, for the fear of running foul of the cops if they ever commit some minor infringement or of having the cops fail to act if ever they need them to investigate any unlawful action perpetrated against them.

This is where it can become similar to paying Mafia-style protection money.
Posted by Ludwig, Sunday, 1 February 2009 8:46:38 PM
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