The Chief Constable of Essex police, Stephen Kavanagh, has warned a "small group" of his officers against taking time off sick to recover from hangovers.
He criticised the force's overall sickness record, saying officers take an average of 12 sick days a year compared to only seven among nurses at Broomfield Hospital in Colchester.
Kavanagh said some officers were "abusing the sickness management process", adding: "Every time they throw a sickie they are letting their mates down, they are letting their community down."
"if you look at the overall numbers compared to other forces, there is also a group - a small group but a group nonetheless - that are abusing the sickness management process," he said.
"If they can't get the time off, they take it sick. If they have a heavy night, on occasions they are taking days off."