"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

Norfolk Police Spent More Than £10k Rebranding Motto

Norfolk police spent more than £10,000 on a rebranding that saw its motto change from “Keeping Norfolk Safe” to “Our Priority is You”, documents reveal.

The new motto was introduced as part of “the drive to be more customer-focused” and to put “the public at the heart of all we do”, according to its response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Campaign for Plain English criticised the change and the money spent on it, but the force maintains that the new black-and-white corporate identity reflects a “professional, efficient and modern police force” and is cheaper to reproduce and more environmentally-friendly than a colour logo.

The force is one of more than 200 bodies, including councils, fire brigades and Whitehall departments to have replaced their mottos in the past five years, according to research by a Sunday newspaper.

The new logo and motto were introduced in April 2008 as part of a major modernisation programme. Developing and designing the new corporate identity cost £2,995 and production and printing came to £945.

Rebranding all 280 of the force’s vehicles with the new logo will cost an estimated £6,762.30. “No additional budget is being made available for this – it is being absorbed within the standard fleet budget,” the force said.It said the “refreshed identity” was being phased in on a “replacement as required” basis and incorporated into scheduled repair and replacement work to avoid unnecessary cost

Marie Clair, spokesman for the Campaign for Plain English said: “Who decided that ‘Keeping Norfolk Safe’ was no longer relevant to the police? Why change it to a blanket statement? ‘Our Priority is You’ could apply to any organisation.

“How is that actually improving the service they are providing? Where could the £10,000 it cost have been spent to make some really constructive differences?

“We all need information but surely at a time of public cuts it’s absolutely essential that it’s about clear informa-tion rather than luxury statements.

“We want our public services to do what they do best: serve the public. We want the boys in blue to stop giving us the blue-chip lingo.”

In a statement, a force spokesman said: “Norfolk Constabulary has gone through a radical transformation of its structure and working practices in order to serve the public better.

“It was appropriate to replace a coloured crest that was costly to reproduce with a monochrome version and strapline that reflects the force’s determination to put the public, its customers, first.

“This was achieved in the most cost-effective way possible with the use of an additional grant from the Home Office to use in the communications campaign to promote local policing teams, specifically, ‘A name in every neighbourhood.’”

Other bodies to have changed their motto include Breckland Council, which added the strapline “A better place, a brighter future” to its logo in 2005 to “highlight our vision for the district”.

Graphic design work cost £479, but there were no additional costs other than officer time. Stationery and documents were changed as supplies of the old versions ran out.

“There are currently no plans to change the design in the future”, said Rob Leigh, assistant director of communications and communities.

Waveney District Council adopted a “revised vision” to “Make Waveney a great place for anyone to grow up, live, work and visit” in September last year.

Communication manager Phil Harris said: “We wanted it to be value for money. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money on consultants but also we wanted to dovetail with the Suffolk vision as well as the Waveney Sustainable Communities Strategy.”

Great Yarmouth Borough Council adopted the mission statement “Provide excellent services that are accessible, responsive and sustainable to ensure Great Yarmouth is a healthy and vibrant place to live, work and visit” in 2008.

“There was no cost in creating the mission statement, apart from officer time. No consultants were used and no signs or stationery needed changing,” it said.


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