Who polices the police? When it comes to music, the Performing Rights Society uphold the law.
And as a result of the PRS campaign to crackdown on people playing music at work, Sussex Police has told officers to stop listening to the radio.
Obviously not their police radios, but those broadcasting the likes of Radio 1.
A spokesman for the force said: “Sussex Police has decided not to renew the PRS licence which means that staff will no longer be able to play radios or music players in the workplace but will make a saving in excess of £23,000.
“The money saved by making these kinds of changes means less money will need to be found from a reduction in posts.”
So now an officer on patrol can listen to music only if he or she is by him or herself.
The same applies in police premises.
Some of those working for the force are believed to be considering making their own applications for a licence.
This is because music played to an audience of more than one in a workplace is regarded as a public entertainment.
One officer from Brighton and Hove said: “I’m all for enforcing the law. After all, it’s what I’m paid to do each day.
“But this over-zealous interpretation of the law will ultimately hurt the very people it’s meant to help.
“Less and less people now play a radio at work.
“And as less people listen to the radio at work, less people will hear songs and buy them as a result – whether that’s buying them on a CD or as a download.
“These people warned the bosses at my wife’s office last year and since then they’ve stopped having the radio on at work.
“I don’t honestly think she’s bought a CD since and she certainly doesn’t bother with iTunes. That’s my job!
“She hasn’t come home once since then and said, ‘you need to hear this track.’
“It just means we don’t have the pleasure of music while we work and musicians are also the poorer for it.
“Still, mustn’t grumble. After all, it is the law!”
According to the BBC, a licence for a patrol car costs £60 and one for an office with fewer than five staff costs £54.16.
The Performing Rights Society said: “If you play music in your business, you need clearance to do so from the owners of that music which you can get by purchasing a licence.
“We exist to collect and pay royalties to our members when their music is played in public and we do that when you get a licence from us.”
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