Until 1994 police officers were known around the world for the old fashioned "British Bobby" look. It was smart, professional and made the police very approachable. However, the blazer, tie and smart trousers look has been replaced for front-line duty with what is now a called a "working dress". This includes high visibility jackets, stab vests and in some cases combat trousers. Besides from not looking terribly smart, the new uniform alienates the police from the public, they look more and more like a paramilitary force and are less approachable. Proponents of the new uniform will argue that the old dress is inflexible and unsafe for modern day policing however, this uniform has served the police well in far more turbulent times e.g. The Troubles. And police forces across the United States who, it could be argued have a far more dangerous do not see the need for a high visibility jackets and stab vests. Perhaps more worrying is the mentality behind the adoption of this uniform, which suggests a fear and distrust of members of the public, this in turns leads to a lack of respect towards the police in general, who are seen as infantile and ineffective at engaging with their local community.
Its time to scrap this New Labour "health and safety" relic and start making our police the envy of the world again.
Why does this idea matter?
Restores trust between the community and police
Makes the police less threatening by creating a more traditional “Dixon of Dock Green look”
Raises the visibility of proper police officers
Creates a smart impression for visitors to this country
Reminds officers that they are not a paramilitary militia, but public servants