I have been appalled to learn that many police canteen no longer exists and that officers are ‘eating on the hoof’. I along with numerous others have seen officers popping into supermarkets, cafes and other places to obtain food and I mistakenly thought this was simply the officer’s choice. I am gobsmacked to learn that for many it’s a ‘Hobson’s choice’, with no other option available.
I know that having been retired over 10 years I’m now a dinosaur, but let’s not forget that dinosaurs once ruled the earth. The Police canteen was primarily a place to eat, but more importantly, it was a place to eat in safety. It was also a place you could write up notes or statements over tea and toast. It was a place you could catch your breath. Any copper reading this will know that occasionally you just need to sit down to relax and process the emotional side of an incident.
The lack of a ‘safe place’ to rest, relax and grab some food is essential to any persons physical and emotional wellbeing. I honestly believe that failing to provide a basic need will have consequences down the line and the closure of police canteens will be regretted too late in the day to change anything.