Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 15:24 UK

Police accused of talking riddles

Hertfordshire Police poster
Police forces are accused of stating the blindingly obvious

Senior police officers have been accused of speaking "ploddledygook" by the Plain English Campaign (PEC).

Norfolk Police have created a "County Delivery Unit" and describe the control room as "Citizen Focus Command".

A PEC spokeswoman said County Delivery Unit "sounds like a milk round" and Citizen Focus Command is like a "mix of Star Trek and NYPD Blue".

A Norfolk police spokesman said most of the terms deemed to be "jargon" were only intended for internal use.

"Our business is about reducing crime and catching criminals - this is clearly stated in our Vision, Pledge & Principles statement which is a plain English guide to what we will do and how we will do it on behalf of the people of Norfolk," the spokesman added.

"Our new strapline 'Our priority is you' works on the same level whether you are Bill the burglar or a victim of crime.

"We have a professional communications team that translates unfamiliar language for the ordinary person."

Humberside was also singled out by the language group for claiming burglaries were caused by "insecurities".

Titles given to some senior officers and staff at Suffolk Police, included: "Head of Protective Services", "Head of Citizen Focus", "Director of Criminal Justice Change" and "Director of Knowledge Architecture".

"Who could guess that these were police officers?" asked the PEC spokeswoman. "What are these jobs?"

The PEC also accuses police forces of stating the blindingly obvious on their websites.

Northumbria Police say they are: "committed to tackling crime in your area".

The PEC spokeswoman scoffed: "I suspect most people in Northumbria assumed that.

Interesting that they don't appear to aspire to catch criminals
PEC spokeswoman

"It would be worrying if a police force wasn't committed to tackling crime."

Lincolnshire Police say their aim is to: "focus on the citizen, achieve the highest standards of professionalism, deliver excellent performance and so inspire confidence amongst the people we serve".

"Could they have an ambition to do the opposite of those things?" asked the PEC spokeswoman.

"Interesting that they don't appear to aspire to catch criminals," she added.

In a mission statement released by Northamptonshire Police, the reader is informed: "Policing in partnership to: reduce and prevent crime..."

"What else could their mission be?" asked the spokeswoman.

A statement on Essex Police's website quotes a police authority chairman saying: "We believe that we have a unique style of policing in Essex, where we strive to always put the customer first."

'Don't commit crime'

"Unique? Do they police in a completely different way to every other force?" said the spokeswoman.

"Customers? Do the police really have customers?", she added.

West Midlands Police are also singled out for a press release which said: "The concept of neighbourhood policing was introduced in 2006... West Midlands Police was one of the first forces in the country to introduce neighbourhood policing."

"An example of saying what's always been happening but presenting it as new," said the spokeswoman."

Hertfordshire Police's "prime example of the stating the blindingly obvious" - a poster saying "Don't Commit Crime".

In pictures: Silly signs
13 Sep 07 |  In Pictures
Police mocked for 'obvious' signs
13 Sep 07 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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