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Swedish cops bash at-work breakfast ban

The Local/og · 15 Mar 2012, 16:34

Published: 15 Mar 2012 16:34 GMT+01:00

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Despite the practice being a tradition “as old as the police force in the area”, Västmanland police commissioner Lars Hallberg considered that it was finally time to scrap the morning ritual, which he claimed was not only a waste of time, but also a waste of money.

“I’m against the whole procedure. To go shopping first, then to sort yourself out and get everything ready. Cooking eggs, cutting tomatoes etc. It ends up being many working hours in a year,” he said to the local Västmanlands Tidning (VLT) newspaper.

However, staff members at the station are not all seeing things from Hallberg’s perspective; in fact, they have interpreted the claims to mean that they can’t even visit shops in their uniforms to buy their food.

“This is ridiculous. What difference does it make if we go out and shop in uniform? It’s just as much a preventative measure,” said one anonymous policeman to the paper.

“Or if someone thought of robbing the shop in question, and then sees that there’s a police car out the front, then yes, maybe then we have prevented a crime,” the officer added.

Despite grumblings from the rank-and-file, Hallberg's plans to abolish on-the-job breakfasts has been hailed by police professor and author Leif GW Persson.

“It was about bloody time. They can damn well begin working like everyone else,” he told VLT.

When asked why the proposed ban on the police breakfast tradition had caused such a kerfuffle, Persson responded:

Story continues below…

“It’s because they’re so bloody spoiled. You’d think they were little children. It’s not surprising that criminiality is in the state it is. We have an eight hour work day. End of story.”

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:58 March 15, 2012 by Terri85
Is this all serious???
18:13 March 15, 2012 by haberdave
On the other "end" if you will. I agree with Mr. Lars Hallberg's opinion....only if his boss agrees to not letting him not go to the toilet during the working day as it is "unproductive, a morning ritual, and a waste of money". Ridiculous.....
18:24 March 15, 2012 by johan rebel
And people are still surprised that the Swedish police are deemed grossly inefficient, solve only a tiny minority of reported crimes, and design their rosters to maximize pay and pensions, and minimize inconvenient shifts and assignments.

The whole police force resembles a uniformed trade union.
19:02 March 15, 2012 by Svensksmith
Show of hands here....how many people get a breakfast provided for them at their job? Not many I reckon.
19:42 March 15, 2012 by Amber Dawn
Well, their plan of action is parking cars in front of stores while the buy tomatoes to stop crime
21:26 March 15, 2012 by Ashlito
whoa,,that's alot of useless hostility directed towards a dead bloke.......sounds like a few of you lot have got your a'' handed to you by a bikie...

I've not alot of time for bikies myself but hey....

22:01 March 15, 2012 by Dr. Dillner
Eat at home like millions of people do BEFORE you go to work.
00:59 March 16, 2012 by phil23456
Sweden please stop attacking all of your great traditions or soon you will have nothing left. You once had one of the greatest countries on earth so why break it down from the inside?
01:23 March 16, 2012 by Da Goat
Damn they are cutting off the crime safe breakfast period .......there is no safe time to do them crimes anymore! can't be sure the noses are in the troughs anymore!
03:57 March 16, 2012 by Trenatos
Oy! From me, a Swedish citizen to the officers in question: DO YOUR JOB!

Do what you're being paid to do!

You're being paid to solve crimes and prevent crimes. Not to eat breakfast.

Eat your breakfast at home.
05:51 March 16, 2012 by TheWatchman
I had never heard of such a thing. I thought it was implied that officers were to eat breakfast at home. That's ridiculous.
07:32 March 16, 2012 by stabbull
well i dont know if the swedish police is like every other regular job (9-5), i know the police can have irregular work schedules. and since they work odd hours and sometime are called up on emergency situations, its only wise to have food in the station. A hungry man can't run after criminals. pls pls show the police some love and respect, they put their lives on the line for you on a daily basis.
08:22 March 16, 2012 by Trenatos
@stabbull: The problem isn't when it happens once in a while, grab something fast because you were called in on short notice in an emergency, we're talking about "tradition", they've done this regularely for *years and years*, wasting time and thus money that could have been spent solving and preventing crimes, eating breakfast.
08:39 March 16, 2012 by Soft Boiled
I bet the breakfast ritual pays for itself several times over. People work harder when they are happiest and swedes are happiest when they have a social gathering around food. I would rather meet a happy policeman on a full stomache than a grumpy on an empty one. You only need to look at how childrens grades improve when they eat a healthy breakfast before classes. I can only see this as a backward step where once more the employer is trying to squeeze out the last ounce of work from the workers.
09:55 March 16, 2012 by Liquidmonkey
the point here is the regular 9-5 working day which means when you get to work at 9, u start to work.

if you get here at 8 and want to have breakfast, fine, since u start work at 9.

but DON'T go to work at 9 and expect to have breakfast and get paid for it. NO EMPLOYER would think this is cool.

morning break, lunch and afternoon break are not included in this discussion since they are the standard that every working place follows.

this whole breakfast at work thing while you being paid is a total waste of tax payers money. period.
10:29 March 16, 2012 by adshasta
@soft boiled, I tend to lean in the same direction on this one. I can imagine that the morning smörgås has alot to do with the need to also interact with fellow officers and even discuss the order of the day. I support the working man/woman. I get tired of people that always are afraid that someone else is getting a better deal than what they have. Sounds like sour grapes to me. If someone wants to be a police...., apply!!!
10:35 March 16, 2012 by heu
@Svensksmith: I do. However I work for a private company in Sweden.
14:21 March 16, 2012 by zooeden
Ohhh poor guys!!!
15:33 March 17, 2013 by janeway
The rest of us working people, have to eat our breakfast on our own, un-paid, time. I'm not willing to pay for some lazy cops sitting around getting fatter and fatter instead of being out and prevent crimes!
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