Let male transsexuals use ladies’ toilets, don’t call gays “homosexual”, and don’t touch a buddhist monk on the head, Scottish police have been told in a new diversity handbook.
The 140-page guide is produced by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) and has been sent to all Scottish police forces.
Examples of inappropriate language include the words “policeman”, “manpower” and “unmanned”, and officers are warned not to call women “love” or men “guys”.
The handbook contains advice on dealing with people such as wheelchair users or members of ethnic minority groups.
Tips include: “When assisting someone with a mobility disability, do not lean on the wheelchair. It may move”; and “Many people celebrate the St Patrick’s Day traditions by drinking green beer, wearing green and generally celebrating their Irish heritage”.
In a section on ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) awareness’, officers are told not to use the term ‘homosexual’, “which some LGB people find offensive”.
The guide also states: “A transgender person is not breaking the law by using the opposite gender toilet facilities from the gender they were labelled at birth”.
The handbook cost £4500 to produce and 7000 copies have been distributed to all Scottish police forces.
ACPOS consulted 75 different groups during production of the booklet.
The guide has attracted derision for its political correctness.
Scottish Conservative Party justice spokesman Bill Aitken reacted with disbelief.
“Who are the self-appointed guardians deciding what is acceptable?” he asked.
“We all need to remember that the function of police officers is to serve the entire community, not just those who live in a politically correct bubble.”
Northern Constabulary Chief Constable Ian Latimer, chairman of ACPOS Equality and Diversity, insisted the handbook was a useful resource.
He said: “It is important that our communities are given the respect and professional service they deserve. The handbook will complement and enhance our existing service delivery.”