Police put ‘blacklist on the blacklist’

Police chiefs have banned the word “blacklist” over fears it is racist.

They have also struck out its opposite - “whitelist” - which is used by IT workers for a list of acceptable email contacts.

New Scotland Yard police headquarters is seen in London. Credit: REUTERS

Scotland Yard employees have been told to use “red” and “green” instead.

The move baffled officers, who said it would do little to help the force emerge from its latest racism crisis.

Thirteen reports of racism, involving 27 officers and staff, are being probed by the Met and the independent police watchdog. One officer said: “Frankly we all sigh when things like this come around. Lots of good work is done to make sure policing reaches into all parts of society and helps the most vulnerable. This is not it.”

The ban emerged in an email to Yard IT staff from security services chief Brian Douglas. He wrote: “IB (Information Board) are uncomfortable with the use of the term whitelist (and I presume blacklist). I am sure we can appreciate the sensitivity around the use of such terminology today so please ensure it is no longer used.”

The Oxford Dictionary defines a blacklist as a “list of the names of people and groups who have incurred suspicion, censure or displeasure, and are typically therefore subject to a ban”. It was first recorded in 1624 in a sermon by Bishop Joseph Hall.

The Met said the move reflected “a more appropriate use of language in a professional, policing environment”. - Daily Mail