Police Slam New Rules on Racial Descriptions in Seeking Crime Suspects

Katie Bice, Herald Sun (Melbourne), March 19, 2010

A LIMIT on racial descriptions of criminals was putting political correctness before crime busting, police say.

Descriptions including Black African, Indian and Eastern European are among those dumped in media releases seeking crime suspects.

They have been replaced by four categories: Aboriginal, Caucasian, Asian and other.

Police Association secretary Greg Davies said it was putting unnecessary impediments in the way of catching criminals.

“It is quite silly and counter-productive and of no assistance to anybody to make everything vanilla,” he said. “It is not a matter of being racist, it is a matter of solving crime.”

Sen-Sgt Davies said it should be about giving the public the best information possible. “It is political correctness taking precedence over solving crime,” he said.

“We need to have accurate descriptions of suspects if we are going to release information to the public.

“We need to make it as specific as possible.”

Chief Commissioner Simon Overland said they tended to use broad categories of race when speaking to the public.

“We have moved away from those terms because sometimes they can cause offence,” he said on radio.

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