Don't say 'blind as a bat', diversity guide warns police

Thousands of police officers have been issued with a 140-page 'diversity handbook' containing tips such as 'Don't lean on a disabled person's wheelchair'.

The guide points out that it is unhelpful for officers to cover their mouths when talking to somebody who is lip-reading, and suggests the phrase 'blind as a bat' may cause offence.
The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland spent almost £5,000 on the project, consulting 75 different groups before handing out 7,000 copies of the booklet to all Scottish police forces.

But frontline officers dismissed the book as patronising and pointless, claiming money was being wasted on stating the obvious in the name of political correctness.

The pocket- sized book includes advice such as: 'Do not lean on a person's wheelchair. It is part of their body space and may move.'

When dealing with a member of the public with a facial disfigurement, it tells officers: 'Do not ask what happened to them.

'Do not stare. Hide any feelings of awkwardness and ignore any curiosities you may have.'

The book also points out that cheery traditional greetings such as 'hen', 'pet', 'love' and 'my dear' should never be addressed to a woman, the guide

And officers are reminded that a woman who is provocatively dressed and 'paying attention to passing vehicles' may not necessarily be a prostitute.

Last night Calum Steele of the Scottish Police Federation said the guide was 'an easy target for the anti-political correctness brigade'.

One serving police officer, who asked not to be named, told the Mail: 'In all my years of policing I've never seen a colleague leaning on somebody's wheelchair, or moving their walking stick without asking.

'Do we really need a 140-page booklet to tell us how to spot a prostitute, or not to describe a member of the public as "blind as a bat"?

'Give us some credit, for heaven's sake.'

Ian Latimer, chief executive of Northern Constabulary, defended the guide. 'Officers have to make decisions and take action in a variety of situations, therefore it is imperative we enhance their knowledge and understanding,' he said.

'This is an extremely useful resource for staff. It is important that our communities are given the respect and professional service they deserve.'

Oh And By The Way........You Can't Think That Either !

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