Police need to focus on basics, not PC madness

Officers need to focus on basic policing and stop over-reacting to political correctness, the Chairman of a rank-and-file police group has said.

Les Gray, from Strathclyde Police Federation, says: “It has got completely out of control and the police are as guilty as other services and parts of Government for that over-reaction.”

In August Strathclyde Police hosted a gay and transgender recruitment day at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow.

In 2008 Tayside police said sorry for using an image of a puppy in an advert, after being warned it could offend Muslims.

Mr Gray said: “We need to make sure we don’t cause offence, of course, but that should apply right across the board, regardless of people’s social or religious background.

“There’s a real danger that we go too far one way- we need to get back to basic policing and do all we can to avoid offending any sector of the community rather than focusing on particular groups.”

In August Strathclyde’s gay jobs fair was criticised by the Roman Catholic Church.

A spokesman said: “Many people will be puzzled that the police are targeting so specifically one section of the community.

“A person’s sexuality should not affect their suitability for police service, so it seems a little bizarre that such a special effort is being made to recruit homosexual people.”

The use of a puppy to advertise a telephone helpline by Tayside police in 2008 sparked anger from some Muslims.

Local Tayside Councillor Mohammed Asif said that the image of a puppy would not be welcomed by the area’s 3,000 strong Muslim community. Traditionally, Islam teaches that dogs are unclean animals.

The police force issued a swift apology, and investigated the possibility of pulling the postcards from circulation.

A spokesman for Tayside police said: “We did not seek advice from the force’s diversity adviser prior to publishing and distributing the postcards.

“That was an oversight and we apologise for any offence caused.”

A spokesman for the Scottish-Islamic Foundation said: “There isn’t any Islamic basis for taking issue with a simple picture of a little puppy.”

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