Police officials have expressed concern that the ability of local police officers to buy burgers half-price from McDonald’s outlets could be seen as corrupt.

As part of a “police anti-corruption strategy”, the force’s headquarters has now asked the US-based fastfood giant to stop offering large discounts to police officers. Spokeswoman Sarah Martin explained that the request was about preserving police integrity.

The move was made after the Police Complaints Authority received a complaint that two police officers refused to pay the full price at a McDonald’s in Nelson, causing the 18-year-old cashier to make up the difference out of his wages.

Many McDonald’s franchises are refusing to honour the request however, despite receiving a letter from the company’s headquarters advising that they sell the burgers to police officers at their full price.

Bryce Randell, managers of the McDonald’s at Wellington’s Manners Mall, told Stuff that his staff still give police the discount: “It’s just to attract police around this area, because we do get a few problems around Manners Mall, especially late at night.”