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This Officer Found Padlocked Milk In A Police Department's Fridge And It Has People Concerned

"Seems like something Dwight would do."

Posted on June 13, 2017, at 2:12 p.m. ET

This is Student Officer Ryan Sharp (on the right) who's currently stationed with West Yorkshire Police in Huddersfield, England.

Ryan Sharp

Earlier this week, Sharp told BuzzFeed News he had to visit Halifax Police Station for an investigation. While he and his colleagues were there, he asked one of the Halifax officers for a cup of tea.

"He showed me where the tea bags were, then told me to find a milk carton without a padlock on," Sharp said.

"I thought he was joking."

But — lo and behold — when he opened their fridge, there actually were several cartons of milk with various locks and contraptions on them.

Ryan Sharp

"I laughed about it," he said on seeing the cartons.

Sharp said it's common for police squads to set up a special "tea fund ... to pay for their own tea, coffee, biscuits, milk etc." He suspected that officers took matters into their own hands when their milk kept being "borrowed" by others.

Ryan Sharp

"The milk in the fridge belongs to the five response teams based at Halifax," Sharp explained.

"The officers at Halifax must have just been more protective of theirs!"

"I'm sure it happens at every office in all lines of work," Sharp said. (I mean, yes, but this is...extraordinarily extra IMO.) He was so amused by what he saw, he shared it online. The immediate response was WTactualF.


Although some people said it may be a more common practice than you think.

@WYP_PC3220Sharp Here my attempt to secure my milk! Seems I am lacking in my efforts

A Twitter user who ripped Sharp's image, and whose tweet has gone massively viral, sparked a pretty intense conversation about the padlocked milk.

Twitter: @kevak1969

Glasgow resident Kevin Kerrigan (@kevak1969) first tried to give comment and permission to use the image when reached by BuzzFeed News. When asked about the similarity to Sharp's original tweet and image, Kerrigan said he'd seen it on Facebook and "a friend ... tagged me in it."

"It'd have been nice to be quoted or referred to by the person that's shared the tweet, but I honestly posted it to give people something to smile or laugh about!" Sharp responded.

Kerrigan has since deleted his tweet.

People really questioned the integrity of the milk theft, and then questioned the pettiness of the Halifax officers.

@SimonFBrunton @kevak1969 It's milk, how much could it cost, $10?

It's somehow even been politicized. "My partner works in an office and they're mostly all Labour voters and they share the milk and most other things."

@GreatBritainOut @kevak1969 My partner works in an office and they're mostly all Labour voters and they share the m…

"I worked in an office with Tories and they just took whatever they want without paying then told blatant lies to continue stealing."

@GreatBritainOut @Danielbjones6 @kevak1969 I worked in an office with tories & they just took whatever they wanted…

The image has inspired people to think even pettier. "I'd put a hole in them out of principle," someone responded.

I'd put a hole in them out of principle.

I would stab holes in the bottom of each of those milks every single chance I got.

Although a good handful of folks are inspired.

They might be on to something. I need this at home 😂

Me cuz the people at work are triflin ass thieves

"This is not a trivial problem. It demonstrates that anarchy works but is costly."

This is a not a trivial problem. It demonstrates that anarchy works but is costly.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to West Yorkshire Police for comment on their rampant milk theft problem.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.