“We are aware and regretful of the insult caused by the appearance of the Ukrainian Trident in the British police’s visual guide,” a U.K. government spokesperson said late on January 20 in a statement on the Facebook page of the British Embassy in Ukraine. “As stated by the police, the document clearly states that many of the symbols contained therein are of no interest in the fight against terrorism.”
Written in the Ukrainian language, the statement further said the British authorities “deeply respect the official symbols of Ukrainian statehood…We recognize the Trident as a major element of the state emblem of Ukraine, which has constitutional, historical, and cultural significance for the people of Ukraine.”
The statement came a day after the Ukrainian Embassy in Britain publicly called on police officials to remove the trident, Ukraine’s national symbol and state coat of arms, from a counterterrorism guide that was distributed to police officers, teachers, and medical staff last year.
The statement was in reference to a 24-page guide that British authorities produced while giving anti-extremism briefings last year to help front-line officers discern signs and symbols.
The daily newspaper The Guardian first reported on the guide’s contents earlier this month.
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistance Commissioner Dean Haydon told the BBC that the visual aid was produced in order to help police “identify and understand signs and symbols” so they could tell the difference between them.
In a statement, he said that many groups listed in the guide “are not of counterterrorism interest.”