Police in Kent have been banned from asking for a person’s “Christian” name, in case it offends people from other faiths.
The call has been met with dismay, with one experienced officer calling it politically correct “nonsense”.
And the Plain English Campaign questioned whether there really was anyone from other faiths who would be offended.
Kent Police’s 62-page ‘Faith and Culture Resource’ guide tells officers to use “personal and family name” instead of “Christian” name.
But one Kent Police officer said: “Most of us are fully aware of how to treat people from different cultural backgrounds, but being told we can’t even ask what their ‘Christian’ name is is just plain ridiculous.
“That is what we are brought up with – Christian name and surname – and to be honest if you had an officer ask for your personal name and family name it’s just going to confuse people.”
The officer, who has worked for Kent Police for 15 years and asked to remain anonymous, continued: “It’s just the latest in a long line of annoying PC-related nonsense that we keep getting shoved down our throats.”
Last year a guide for all Scottish police forces told officers they should let male transsexuals use ladies’ toilets, not call gays “homosexual”, and not touch a buddhist monk on the head.
That handbook was blasted as “PC madness”.
Kent Police’s guidelines, which were released following a Freedom of Information request, also tell officers not to shake hands with people as it could be deemed “unprofessional”.
Some of the words policemen are also discouraged from using include: “businessman”, “housewives” and “child”.
Marie Clair, from the Plain English Campaign, said: “I would like to know who these people with religious beliefs are that are allegedly so offended.
“I do not understand why someone in an office somewhere is coming up with these guidelines when there has been no outcry or complaints made public to suggest that the word “Christian” is offensive in this context.
“It is political correctness being pushed to its absolute limits. All common sense has been lost. Why can’t we use familiar language which people understand?”
In July it was revealed that Pagan police officers were being allowed to take Halloween off as holiday.
It followed the Home Office agreeing to the establishment of a Pagan Police Association.
In September the chairman of a rank-and-file police group criticised forces for over reacting to political correctness.