‘It’s not worrying’ claim as West Midlands police set to introduce gender neutral hats


Photo: Steve Woods / newsteam.co.uk

The force said the flat, pointed caps would provide “an added option” to officers in response and support units and would not replace existing headgear such as the traditional bobby helmet.

But the move has been criticized by Tory MP Marco Longhi, who described it as a “tick exercise in the race to become as awake as possible”.

West Midlands Police said the hats, which are already in use by traffic officers, would be “more practical” for many other officers in frontline positions.

It comes after the Metropolitan Police announced plans for gender-neutral uniforms in an effort to ensure officers obey equality laws.

The caps will not replace the traditional helmet but will offer “a new option”

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police and the Crime Commissioner’s Office said: ‘A survey of West Midlands Police officers revealed a significant majority in favor of the pointy hat option for our agents of the intervention and support unit. These hats have been worn by traffic officers for many years.

“This provides an option for officers who wish to use them. It is an additional option, not mandatory, nor a replacement for existing headgear. For many, it will be more convenient.”

Dudley North MP Longhi said: “It is truly amazing that when people want to see our police force tackle crime, they seem more concerned with ridiculous equality initiatives.

“I want to know how much money it costs, because people will see it for what it is: a checkbox exercise in the race to get as awake as possible. Then they will give the guys skirts.”

A police source told the Express & Star that there were practical reasons behind the move.

“For once, it’s not worrying,” said the source. “Quite simply, it’s easier to get into a police car with a flat cap rather than a tall, pointed one.”

Traditional bobby hats – known as goalie helmets – have been scrapped in recent years by a number of forces, including West Yorkshire and Cheshire.

The Metropolitan Police would consult with officers on whether to make gender-neutral uniforms available to officers. He says he wants to ensure that agents are able to perform their work in accordance with the equality of the law.

It has been reported that Met Police may be in violation of the Equality Act 2010 by not providing separate uniforms for fluid and non-binary police officers.


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