The PC Vicar and the pole-dancer: He worked in counter-terror. She supports Norfolk police. But they both found time to earn extra cash in VERY surprising ways
22:05 GMT, 29 December 2012
A Mail on Sunday probe has revealed that more than 20,000 police officers and staff are moonlighting in their time outside the force, raising serious questions about potential conflicts of interest.
Among the more extraordinary cases are a counter-terrorism specialist working as a vicar, and a personnel assistant teaching pole-dancing.
Here, the Mail on Sunday reveals how the pair managed to combine their very different professional interests in a bid to pocket some extra cash.
How I switched shifts to take church services: Counter-terror expert tells of his second job as a Church of England vicar
Rev Nick Williams from Darenth, Kent, trained as a Church of England priest while working as a counter-terror expert at Scotland Yard
The Rev Nick Williams is the only person known to have worked as a police officer and Church of England priest at the same time.
He managed to fit in his theological training when he was based at Scotland Yard. At one stage he was working in counter-terrorism during the day, then holding church services at evenings and weekends.
Sometimes his fellow sergeants would swap his late shifts for their early ones so that he could get away in time for a church service. ‘They made it easier for me than if I had been on a frontline team,’ he said.
After 30 years in the force he retired as a sergeant this year and is now a salaried parish priest in rural Kent. He also draws a Metropolitan Police pension.
He admits he would have struggled to juggle his demanding roles without the help of the force, and believes it would be more difficult for anyone to follow in his footsteps as the demands on police increase.
Mr Williams, 50, said: ‘I think now it might not have been possible to juggle the balls quite as well. My colleagues and the police service itself were supportive.’
He was not a regular churchgoer when he joined the Met in 1982, but ‘came to faith’ ten years ago after hearing a preacher near his home in Bexleyheath, South-East London.
He was a constable in the busy West End Central station and the force allowed him to devote increasing amounts of time to his religion.
He became a reader at his local church then trained part-time at evening classes and residential weekends, using up his holiday allowance and also receiving nine days’ study leave while his wife looked after their two children.
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Qualified instructor: Police worker Nicola Brooks teaches pole dancing in the evenings and at weekends
The 37-year-old asked her bosses two years ago if she could combine the two unlikely occupations and they agreed to it. They questioned Mrs Brooks, who is married to a sergeant in the force, to see if she had links to the sex industry but were happy that she did not.
A source said: ‘When she put her business interest forward to the police, she did get grilled. They wanted to know if she was profiting from lap-dancing clubs etc. She said she was a qualified fitness instructor and it was just a fitness thing.’
Second job: Nicola runs classes at a community centre, and at the University of East Anglia
According to her Facebook page, Mrs Brooks started teaching pole-dancing in Wymondham in 2008.
She runs three hour-long sessions at a martial arts club on Wednesday evenings, charging 35 for four weeks. For the past year she has also taught Zumba dance fitness on Thursday and Friday nights.
Mrs Brooks then gives three pole-dancing classes to students at the University of East Anglia in Norwich on Sundays. The UEA Pole Dancing Club website states: ‘During the class, our qualified instructor Nicola teaches holds and spins, before leading a cool down session to reduce soreness.’
The university club insists that pole-dancing is ‘a performing art that combines fitness, gymnastics and dance’ and should not have an ‘exotic dance stigma’.
Mrs Brooks declined to comment on her second job when approached by The Mail on Sunday.
Norfolk Police said: ‘Officers and staff are entitled to a life outside their role with the Constabulary and should be free to pursue their personal interests within the terms of our policy on the matter.
‘Regulations set out that officers and staff must give notification of intent before embarking on a business interest, and there is a system of monitoring in place to ensure the regulations are adhered to. All notifications are assessed on an individual basis and, in this case, the interest was registered for fitness purposes and did not conflict with the staff member’s role.’
PS: Heard the one about the copper-turned-comic
Alfie Moore: The sergeant took a career break to pursue his sideline job as a comedian
A sergeant took a career break from the police after becoming successful in his sideline job as a stand-up comedian.
Alfie Moore, pictured, began telling jokes about life in the force as a ‘hobby’ five years ago, when he was working as a detective for Humberside Police in Scunthorpe.
But as he got more bookings for evening gigs, often involving long drives, he moved to a role in a neighbourhood team as it meant he would work a rota with fixed hours.
When Mr Moore declared his second job to Humberside Police, a superintendent sat in the audience to check his material was appropriate. In the summer of 2011, he took an unpaid sabbatical and performed at this year’s Edinburgh Festival.
Mr Moore, 49, says: ‘It’s not fair to have two full-time jobs as nobody is going to get the best of you.’
However, he does intend to return to policing. He has 18 years’ service and needs to put in another 12 to qualify for his full pension.
‘I’d need a very good reason not to go back,’ he admitted.
BRIAN PADDICK, former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Met Police, says: We had no time for a second job back in my day
In the past, for a police officer to have a second job was a rarity, not just because of the strict limitations placed on other employment but also because there was no time.
As a constable in the late Seventies, two of my eight days off every four weeks were cancelled as we ‘worked rest days’ to make up for the shortage of recruits.
The early Nineties saw the beginning of a more liberal approach within the police.
The presumption against allowing second jobs, save in exceptional circumstances, such as in the run-up to retirement, gave way to giving permission unless there were good reasons not to.
It was all part of a culture-change process, which had its origins, and was most noticeable, in London.
Whether police officers are highly paid, as they risk their lives every day, is arguable. But changes to pay and pension mean many officers will earn less than they thought. Increasingly, many want to make up the difference with a second job, but there are dangers.
The Police Federation argue that forces should employ police officers rather than support staff because of the flexibility this gives for officers to work overtime for big events such as the Olympics. Yet the more officers have second jobs, the less available they are for overtime.
Police work can be both dangerous and demanding, whether it’s driving emergency vehicles at high speed or armed officers having to make ‘shoot-don’t shoot’ decisions. If officers are working on their days off, or even after a long day at work, their ability to do police work can be dangerously impaired.
Even in terms of civility, if you are exhausted, the potential to snap in the face of provocation, something police officers face almost daily, not just in Downing Street, is significantly increased.
From personal experience, less than one day a week off over a period of time can seriously compromise your performance.
Restrictions on what officers can do are many but exist for good reason. For example, there is clear potential for a conflict of interest if an officer is involved in anything that the police have a say over, such as working in a pub. And anything involving security has the potential to give officers an unfair advantage.
Police chiefs may be sympathetic in light of recent changes to police pay, but rules designed to protect the integrity of the police, already dented by events such as Hillsborough, must be preserved.