Police IT staff in England have been banned from using the word ‘blacklist’ because it could be considered racist.

The Police Federation has condemned the move as a ‘waste of time’ and ‘an irrelevance’.

The term whitelist – a list of acceptable contacts – has also been banned.

Security services chief Brian Douglas wrote in an email: “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.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said that the change was not one of policy but simply a move to more ‘appropriate’ phrasing.

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