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Appropriate Language For Police

25 September, 2000

Greater Manchester Police have formed an “appropriate language working party” to suggest more fitting descriptions of people and groups.

An article in The Times explains how the guide was drawn up after the Stephen Lawrence enquiry, to ensure that members of groups and diverse communities are not labelled negatively. Officers are told that to label someone as ‘epileptic’ or ‘diabetic’ is wrong and that these labels tend to dehumanise the people involved.

The officers are also told to avoid calling women ‘love’ ‘pet’ or ‘dear’, as these too devalue women.

Chief Constable of the force, Mr Wilmot says “we believe equal opportunities will be strengthened and easier to achieve if we carefully examine the language we use and ensure we treat people as individuals not merely as members of groups.”