Once it stood simply for Police Constable.
But now PC could equally mean Pagan Cop.
Witches, druids and followers of the Norse gods in police forces throughout the country have persuaded the Home Office to let them set up a support group.
The Pagan Police Association will help officers who cast spells and join midnight rituals to fit their beliefs around their police work
One of them is even planning to publish details of his spells to help colleagues gain promotion or overcome illness.
PC Andy Hill of Staffordshire Police is a Wiccan (witch) and the founder of the Pagan Police Group UK, a website for like-minded officers and their families which is scheduled to launch on August
He said the spells can involve recitations, altars, flowers and herbs.
PC Hill added: ‘This is nothing to do with black magic or devil-worshipping. Witchcraft is not the hocus pocus, puff of smoke, turning people into frogs stuff you see on television. It is working with nature for good.’
He also plans to work with his police
bosses – he will wait for their authorisation before putting his spells online.
A spokesman for the Home Office confirmed the meeting with PC Pardy this week but stressed it was not funding his new organisation.
He added: ‘The Government wants a police service that reflects the diverse communities it serves.
‘It is down to individual forces to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the religion or beliefs of individual officers, as far as operational requirements permit.’
Superintendent Simon Hawkins of Hertfordshire Police said: ‘The force strives to provide a receptive environment for all its staff and has a commitment to meet the diverse needs of all who work for us and the public we serve.’
‘While balancing operational needs, the force’s religion and beliefs policy gives all staff the choice of re-allocating the traditional Christian bank holidays to suit their personal faith.
‘This has been very well received by a number of faith groups, including Muslims and Jews.’
He said PC Pardy had also written ‘very informative’ details on paganism for the force’s internal website on diversity.
Superintendent Hawkins also said the force had appointed two pagan chaplains in the last 12 months.
He added: ‘They take an active role in faith meetings and the work of the force.’
Hertfordshire Police also stressed that the new pagan support group would not be costing the force anything.
But critics see the Police Pagan Association as the latest example of the remorseless spread of another kind of PC – political correctness.
The currently truncated version of the above can be seen here.