§ Mr. Charles Clarke
The Working Time Regulations do apply to the Police Service. However, while the regulations clearly apply to police officers and support staff, there are a number of defined exceptions covering circumstances routinely encountered by operational police officers and support staff. Regulation 18 specifically exempts those police duties which inevitably conflict with the limits and entitlements provided for. Regulation 20 applies to workers whose duration of working time is not measured or predetermined, or can be determined by the worker him/herself. Regulation 21 applies in a range of circumstances, including duties in security or surveillance.
Chief officers have a 'duty of care' towards their employees and, although forces do have local arrangements in place in respect of the Working Time Regulations, we are aware that chief officers may need guidance on the issue for operational purposes. The Home Office will issue guidelines following discussions with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Health and Safety Executive.