Perhaps it was a slow day, or the call of the snow-covered hills was just too great to ignore. But regardless of their motivation, four U.K. police officers are in a bit of trouble for using their riot shields as sleds on a recent winter day.

A video shows the officers laughing and coaching each other on how to hold the straps, with one yelling out, “Whatever happens, keep smiling!”

Their commander was not amused after the video, taken by Rick Latham of Oxford, was posted on YouTube — though he did concede that the unusual snow had "a habit of bringing out the child in all of us".

"I have spoken to the officers concerned and reminded them in no uncertain terms that tobogganing on duty, on police equipment and at taxpayers' expense is a very bad idea should they wish to progress under my command," said Supt. Andrew Murray.

Latham was out enjoying the snow when the officers approached, telling the BBC "I thought they were going to tell us off at first.”

"But they had a look at the hill and two of them went down on their shields. They were jovial and it was nice to see officers taking time out to get involved.”

Photo: Rick Latham

Video: U.K. cops use riot shields as sleds
Oxford police officers reprimanded for creative reuse -- using riot shields as sleds.