London - British public safety officials today increased the national alert level to "Quite Elevated Indeed" -- the highest category possible -- and appealed to UK citizens to "keep a sharp lookout for diverse people engaged in activities."
"We ask the public to report any behaviours by various people that may or may not be of a suspicious nature," said Lt. Clive Jameson of the Metropolitan Police Service. "We further ask the public to be especially vigilant for activities of broad stratas of people who may be from countries of some sort, especially those within the eastern and/or western hemisphere."
The elevated alert levels come on the heels of a week when London and Glasgow narrowly escaped potential events that intelligence experts say may have been related to diverse groups of people doing things. Initially police had specifically asked the public for information relating to doctors driving automobiles, but that initial warning brought angry denunciations from the British Medical Association and the UK Automobile Association.
"This directive unfairly singles out and targets British medical professionals, a great many of whom are loyal and patriotic citizens," complained Dr. Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA. "The fact that some of the people involved in the recent unfortunate events may have been doctors is totally coincidental, just as if they had been accountants, plumbers, or random members of a deranged apocalyptic religious cult."
Sir Trevor Chinn, Chairman of the UKAA, warned that the earlier directive would "spark a backlash against the British motoring community and promote a climate of fear and carophobia."
On Tuesday, new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown met with representatives of the medical and car communities and announced that the government would henceforth prohibit occupational and transportational profiling by public officials. Brown said further government communications would prohibit the use of certain prejudicial words like "doctor," "Vauxhall," "podiatrist," "propane," "Asia," "drive," "ticking noises," "panic," and "the." Brown also announced the formation of a blue ribbon multicultural community advisory board chaired by Dr. Mohammed Ibn-Yasin of the UK Islamic Podiatric and Car Bombing Club.
In the latest warning, Metropolitan Police said Scotland Yard had set up special telephone and internet hotlines for citizens to report tips of possible activities by other people, including "excessive use of cell phones and computers."
"An informed and vigilant London is our eyes and ears, and our best hope for thwarting these diverse groups of people from various countries and backgrounds and occupations who are engaged in, or potentially planning activities of some sort," said Jameson. But the spokesman also said public involvement should stop there.
"We are asking for vigilance, not vigilantes," said Jameson. "After reporting alleged activities, the public should wait for the professionals, who have the necessary multicultural training and snappy reflective uniforms to prevent and/or clean up afterwards."
"After diversity awareness, our paramount goal is public safety," added Jameson. "As we saw recently in Glasgow, if a well-meaning but untrained citizen steps in and tries to stop a diverse person of activity by kicking him or her in the testicles, he or she could suffer a painful tendon injury."
Nigel Brunton, a spokesman for the British Society of Diverse People Doing Various Things, said his organization was "cooperating fully" with police, but said he felt it unfair that it was being singled out.
"In every group there's bound to be a few bad apples," said Brunton. "Or some sort of pomaceous fruit of some kind."