A Detective Superintendent serving with the UK’s largest police force police who allegedly used the the phrase “whiter than white” during a briefing could be sacked for alleged racism.
The senior police officer, who denies any wrongdoing, has now been placed on restrictive duties pending an investigation.
In a case that appears to defy any notion of common sense, the detective superintendent allegedly used the age-old phrase during a briefing to colleagues about maintaining the highest standards.
Scotland Yard ended up receiving a complaint from an unknown party about what many will see as a completely harmless comment and the ‘incident’ was referred to the watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
As if the police did not already have enough to worry about, without now losing a senior cop whilst an ‘investigation’ is made into ‘incident’.
To think that someone has taken it upon themselves to report this officer for using a phrase that is in the English Dictionary will incense not only serving officers, but members of the public as well.
According to the English Dictionary, the phrase means: ‘morally beyond reproach – “they expect standards of behaviour whiter than white”.
The common synonyms are also: virtuous, moral, ethical, good, righteous, angelic, saintly, pious, honorable, reputable, wholesome, clean, honest, upright, upstanding, exemplary, beyond above reproach, irreproachable, innocent.
Does this also mean that we cannot use the phrase: ‘thats a bit of a grey area’ just in case we offend anyone who has grey hair!? It is utterly ridiculous.
The ‘whiter than white’ phrase itself dates back to a William Shakespeare poem in 1593:
‘Who sees his true-love in her naked bed’
‘Teaching the sheets a whiter hue than white,
‘But, when his glutton eye so full hath fed,
‘His other agents aim at like delight?
‘Who is so faint, that dare not be so bold
‘To touch the fire, the weather being cold
So does this mean that had the cop used any of these words during the briefing then he would have been subjected to an investigation? Of course he would not!
Unless common sense prevails, the senior detective could now face an internal investigation for gross misconduct.
A Police source told The Express: “There was no bad intent in this comment, it may have been a poor use of language, but this is not what the misconduct process is for.
“There should be informal ways of dealing with this, particularly at a time when we are so short of experienced officers.”
Many people will be shocked that the Detective himself is based in the Directorate of Professional Standards – the body responsible within the police for investigation allegations of alleged malpractice.
But surely the fact that he is now being investigated is a massive own goal for the unit as it is seen to investigate one of its own officers for using a phrase that has been a part of the English language for a considerable time.
An article in the Express also reported that a spokesman for the Plain English Campaign said: “As the phrase means ‘morally beyond reproach’ and is used in that context with that intent, it seems fairly ludicrous that the officer in question is being investigated at all, let alone for ‘gross misconduct.”
A spokesperson for the IOPC said: “I can confirm a notice of investigation has been served on an officer informing them we are investigating the alleged use of language intended to offend and that had racist undertones.
“A notice is issued to inform an officer at the earliest opportunity following an allegation. It in no way indicates that misconduct proceedings will take place.”
At a time when the police are struggling under an increased workload with fewer resources, many will question the logic of undertaking an ‘investigation’ in these circumstances.
Let us know what YOU think – should this officer be investigated for using the phrase ‘whiter than white’ or do you think that an ‘investigation’ is way over the top?
Let us know in the comments below.
Written by one of the many admins of Emergency Services Humour who is also a regular blogger in our fortnightly eMagazine ’S__ts & Giggles’ which you can sign up to by visiting our Facebook page and clicking on the ‘sign up’ button or by visiting: ShitsAndGiggles.Online
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