The Force is under no obligation to provide officers with food at any time. It does so currently in lieu of a claim being made and usually exceeds the amount that they would have to spend on a claim.
There are some legal issues around the storage of food during hot weather that have to be considered by the Force and sometimes food cannot be provided if it is unable to meet the requirements of safe storage.
The main crux or an officer’s entitlement is laid out in the regulation and has to satisfy certain criterion. First the officer has to be necessarily prevented from taking their meal in the normal manner. So if they normally bring a pack up and keep it in the fridge and they are now deployed to be in a van and stand on a cordon for eight hours, then they cannot do this and are thus ‘prevented’.So, they can claim for the provision of food. i.e. purchase it just prior to consumption from a garage or shop at which point they may make a claim. BUT... they can only claim for what they spend above what their meal would normally cost.
The officer is entitled to make that claim and the forces obligation is to allow officers time and the access to purchase food.
If the officer is required to stay on duty longer than their rostered shift for that day then they can claim for the entirety of the cost of any meal they then purchase.
Officers are entitled to (by law) 20 minutes break in an 8 hour tour. 45 minutes (under the Regs) A planned op is not an exigency so they are entitled to the 20 minutes whatever happens. Driving or travelling to an event is not a break. The WTR do not allow for this to be taken at the end of a shift. (Reg 12 WTR)
In simple terms the Force either provide food or officers are entitled to claim under the Regs.
It must be reiterated to officers that they must ensure honesty and integrity in this claim and the force must allow officers sufficient time to rest and eat.
The provision of water throughout the day where officers and staff are away from a building comes under the H&S codes of practice and is the sole responsibility of the force.