A postcard issued by the Scottish police to advertise a new telephone contact number has drawn protests from Muslims. They find the dog in the advertisement offensive.
Muslims are upset as they consider dog ritually unclean. And such is the intensity of the sentiments in the community that some shopkeepers in Dundee have refused to display the advert, Daily Mail says.
AdvertisementDundee councillor Mohammed Asif said: 'My concern was that it's not welcomed by all communities, with the dog on the cards.
'It was probably a waste of resources going to these communities.
'They (the police) should have understood. Since then, the police have explained that it was an oversight on their part, and that if they'd seen it was going to cause upset they wouldn't have done it.'
Councillor Asif, who is a member of the Tayside Joint Police Board, said that the force had a diversity adviser and was generally very aware of such issues.
He raised the matter with Chief Constable John Vine at a meeting of the board.
Councillor Asif said: 'People who have shops just won't put up the postcard. But the police have said to me that it was simply an oversight and they did not seek to offend or upset.'
Cards featuring a black dog by the side of a police officer's hat have been distributed to communities throughout the area to advertise the single number point of contact for non-emergency calls to the police.
The dog-in-training Rebel, featured in the cards, has proved a popular recruit for Tayside Police after coming through the very first Lothian and Borders Police dog-breeding programme in February.
One of seven German Shepherd pups born in early December, he has now completed his course of inoculations, and is free to venture out onto the streets of Tayside.
A spokesman for Tayside Police said: 'Trainee police dog Rebel has proved extremely popular with children and adults since being introduced to the public, aged six weeks old, as Tayside Police's newest canine recruit.
'His incredible worldwide popularity - he has attracted record visitor numbers to our website - led us to believe Rebel could play a starring role in the promotion of our non-emergency number.
'We did not seek advice from the force's diversity adviser prior to publishing and distributing the postcards. That was an oversight and we apologise for any offence caused.'
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