Police officer labelled 'an embarrassment' for telling shops to use gender-neutral signs for tampons

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A police officer has been labelled an “embarrassment” for suggesting shops should use gender-neutral signs for tampons.

Peter Allan, a hate crime officer for Sussex Police, took umbrage with Tesco’s decision to use the term “feminine hygiene” to describe sanitary products and labelled the store a “fail”.

In a Twitter post last year, he suggested supermarkets should rename the section “personal care” as to not exclude men.

His comments have now sparked a social media row, with some people suggesting he is undermining the work of LGBTQ campaigners and others criticising him for making a mockery of the police service.

Feminine care: He suggested current signage excluded men (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Sergeant Allan, who described himself as a “hate crime Sgt and trans equality advocate”, had tweeted a picture of a sign above a shelf of tampons which read “feminine hygiene”.

He wrote: “@tesco #FAIL Need to update. Especially with products 4 men on shelf. ‘Personal Hygiene’ perhaps.

He also tweeted Sainsnbury’s over the same topic, writing that it was “an issue of gender identity”.

Tampons: He suggested the section should be called ‘personal care’ (Shutterstock/Birgit Reitz-Hofm)

He added: “Men may use the products. Indeed, men’s products were on the shelf. ‘Personal care’ perhaps.”

His comments sparked a barrage of criticism, with some social media users convinced the tweets were a joke. 

A Metropolitan police officer who goes by the Twitter handle ResponseCop wrote: “This idiot is not representative of the wider Police Service across the country. 

“No common sense and likely all just for promotion. Ridiculous.

“I could only suggest calling Sussex Police and making a complaint because the tweets are an embarrassment to the service.”

Others have suggested he is “wasting tax-payers money” by spending time “policing words” instead of fighting crime.

One person replied to his comment with: “Is this some type of joke? Acid attacks, knife crime up, child grooming gangs and the police are interested in this? Get real please!”

Sussex Police and Sgt Allan did not respond to requests for comment.

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