Policing the language

2 July 2009

Police chiefs are in line to win a competition for the most ridiculous use of the English language after writing a 102-word sentence that ‘defies understanding’.

In a response to the Government’s Green Paper on policing, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) came up with a sentence described as ‘gobbledygook’ by the Plain English Campaign.

The paper, signed off by Chief Constable Sir Ken Jones, the President of ACPO, was revealed in Police Review as: ‘The promise of reform which the Green Paper heralds holds much for the public and Service alike; local policing, customised to local need with authentic answerability, strengthened accountabilities at force level through reforms to police authorities and HMIC, performance management at the service of localities with targets and plans tailored to local needs, the end of centrally-engineered one size fits all initiatives, an intelligent approach to cutting red tape through redesign of processes and cultures, a renewed emphasis on strategic development so as to better equip our service to meet the amorphous challenges of managing cross force harms, risks and opportunities.’

Gulp. I’m reminded of the fact that I successfully submitted two former employers for this award, while I was working for them.

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