This is Student Officer Ryan Sharp (on the right) who's currently stationed with West Yorkshire Police in Huddersfield, England.
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.
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.
"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.
A Twitter user who ripped Sharp's image, and whose tweet has gone massively viral, sparked a pretty intense conversation about the padlocked milk.
People really questioned the integrity of the milk theft, and then questioned the pettiness of the Halifax officers.
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."
"I worked in an office with Tories and they just took whatever they want without paying then told blatant lies to continue stealing."
The image has inspired people to think even pettier. "I'd put a hole in them out of principle," someone responded.
Although a good handful of folks are inspired.
"This is not a trivial problem. It demonstrates that anarchy works but is costly."
Tanya Chen is a social news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in New York.
Contact Tanya Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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