As police forces all across the country frantically scramble about to save money, one Scottish force has come up with a novel way of avoiding financially damaging law suits.
Police officers in the Lothian and Borders area have been given guidance in what not to say in the course of their duties.
The list of "do's and don'ts" is on Lothian and Borders Police's internal webpage.
It warns against pensioners being called "old biddies" or gay people "batting for the other side".
The Appropriate Language Guide, tells officers to avoid insulting members of the public by using offensive terms.
An unnamed source has advised has revealed other don'ts that the guide instructs the police to avoid. When confronting or approaching members of the public, on no account should they say -
"Evening All" - this seemingly harmless greeting may be offensive to shift workers as it assumes that the person who is being addressed works 9 to 5 while they may in fact be on their way to work. The use of this expression will only serve to remind them that they're away to sweat blood and guts while the majority of the workforce are either sitting in front of the TV with their feet up or getting bladdered in a local hostelry.
"Did you have any idea what speed you were doing, Sir ?" - once again, this doesn't appear too controversial, but just imagine the damage this could cause to a recovering drug addict if ,already fighting with self doubt and paranoia, they think its being suggested to them that they are indulging in amphetamine use .
"Let's Be Avenue" - what upset could such a comment cause, I hear you ask. Well, the Appropriate Language Guide advises officers to avoid this traditional greeting like the plague as it could cause offence to persons from inner city areas to whom living in tree lined suburbia is only a pipe dream. Using this expression could rile the person by reminding them of the trials and tribulations of everyday life in run down housing schemes so much so that a breach of the peace may ensue.