London, Nov 01 (ANI): The next time a police man bumps into a witch in the UK, he would exactly know how to handle her-thanks to a new guide book which has various tips to offer.
The Metropolitan Police has produced a 300-page guidebook, which includes instructions on how to deal with members of the pagan community, reports the Daily Mail.
It offers the policemen a range of dos and don'ts when it comes to followers of a range of religions and beliefs, from atheism to Zoroastrianism, druidry and shamanism.
They are advised to avoid touching a witch's Book of Shadows, or spellbook, and handling the ceremonial dagger known as an athame.
Police are also advised not necessarily to panic if they encounter a person in the nude with hands tied together.
The guide states, "Some ceremonies include a blindfolded, naked participant, whose hands may be bound.
"This is in accordance with ritual and has the full consent of the participant."
On witchcraft, officers are told, "Witches have a Book of Shadows, which contains a handwritten record or diary of their personal progress as a witch.
"Often the books have ornate covers, some have the title Book of Shadows on the cover, some don't. Any book can be used, but this book is regarded as private and special and should not be touched by anyone but the author."
The manual has warned officers they may particularly encounter worshippers armed with ceremonial daggers on April 30 and May 1 during Beltane, a fire festival that sees pagan and wicca worshippers celebrate the sun god.
The guide, which is available for officers on the Met's internal website, has also provided a glossary of pagan terms including the traditional greeting of 'merry meet' and an explanation of a 'wickening', or child naming ceremony.
It states, "Pagans have no religious dietary laws. However, many, though not all, witches are vegetarians."
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said, "It's a resource officers can refer to should they need to but it's not required reading." (ANI)