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Force heads for a break with tradition on replacing iconic helmet


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Survey comes out in favour of cap that fits the 'safer, practical and comfortable' approach for wearers.

Passing out parade: Officers will still wear helmets for ceremonial duties

Passing out parade: Officers will still wear helmets for ceremonial duties 

Date - 24th July 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle
14 Comments14 Comments}

 

Officers have voted with their feet to swap traditional headgear for “bump” caps.

Gloucestershire Constabulary plans to roll out a replacement for the iconic helmet in the coming weeks with what it perceives as a “safer, practical, comfortable and inclusive” alternative.

It follows a “carefully-considered” consultation process among force personnel and a survey that saw a slight majority in favour of change.

Gloucestershire is hopeful the switch to the single hard baseball-style cap allows the headwear to be worn while driving and provides for a “consistent visual appearance”.

The bump caps contain an inner high-density polyethylene liner with foam cushioning which offers all round protection and so improves the health and safety for officers and PCSOs.

The force told Police Oracle: “We appreciate that traditional headgear is an iconic element of our uniform and distinguishes British police officers around the world, so we were aware that the change could have a negative impact.”

The Gloucestershire force took a straw poll among officers with the 284 who replied fairly evenly split on the best course of action. “The largest percentage was in favour of a change,” it concluded.

Officers in the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean are among the first to take delivery of the headgear but eventually all frontline staff will wear them.

Traditional headwear will still be worn for ceremonial duties, the force promised.

Opinion is divided on the introduction of bump caps.

Some feel it makes officers more approachable while critics said it made police look like they were working for Burger King.

Northamptonshire Police announced plans to move back to traditional headgear in May 2017 in a “new approach to policing” but appeared to contradict that decision by announcing that bump caps would continue to be worn by response and specialist officers after all – for safety reasons

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  • 2 weeks later...

Baseball caps always make me think; "chav police" :lol:

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4 hours ago, PC Wannabe said:

Baseball caps always make me think; "chav police" :lol:

I always think 'firearms' or 'POLSA' to be fair. 

They always conjure up an image of some not too distant dark, cyberpunk future 😂😂

It's the kind of society we've created for ourselves anyway. I was watching a recent episode of Black Mirror which featured Met cops policing some ruralshire area of the country (it didn't make much sense but then again most of our media is very, very London centric even when it isn't meant to be) the cops were all wearing white shirt and ties also sporting headgear, looked about 15 years out of date which isn't what Black Mirror usually goes for. 

Like I said above the bump caps look awful. 

 

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23 hours ago, Radman said:

I always think 'firearms' or 'POLSA' to be fair. 

They always conjure up an image of some not too distant dark, cyberpunk future 😂😂

It's the kind of society we've created for ourselves anyway. I was watching a recent episode of Black Mirror which featured Met cops policing some ruralshire area of the country (it didn't make much sense but then again most of our media is very, very London centric even when it isn't meant to be) the cops were all wearing white shirt and ties also sporting headgear, looked about 15 years out of date which isn't what Black Mirror usually goes for. 

Like I said above the bump caps look awful. 

 

Yes I'm used to seeing them on firearms officers, certainly nothing new there. I think I always associate baseball caps with 'chavs' purely due to the fact that they were often the head wear of choice for a large percentage of the troublesome kids where I lived as a child! The vandals, thugs, twockers etc etc - I lived on some undesirable estates.

I've always liked the idea of white shirt and tie if I were to join. I guess again it's because that's what I was used to seeing bobbies wear when I was a child.

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I like them.  They're a good compromise for general duties.  They offer protection while not being uncomfortable.  If you think that offering officers lower levels of PPE is a good idea because 'tradition' and 'smartness' perhaps you might consider leaving your stabby at the station too.

Edited by Beaker
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Having worn all the various headgear, I can honestly say that I found the Custodian the most comfortable to wear. It, also, is iconic and the smartest. like all things though, a lot can be made by the way it is worn.

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I've heard the 'gives you authority' angle too.  If a hat is the only thing that gives someone an air of authority the person wearing it is in a WHOLE heap of trouble. 

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8 hours ago, Beaker said:

I like them.  They're a good compromise for general duties.  They offer protection while not being uncomfortable.  If you think that offering officers lower levels of PPE is a good idea because 'tradition' and 'smartness' perhaps you might consider leaving your stabby at the station too.

I'm sure they could do better than giving out an armoured baseball cap... Armour up a peaked cap as an example, it just won't be the cheapest possible option which the baseball caps are. 

I wear my custodian on beats regularly and have never had an issue with it, I don't take it out on response (obviously) but will often take my peaked cap out with me if I'm going from station to another... Flat cap gets worn on football days obviously. 

 

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Baseball caps are what employees wear in fast food outlets and are not consistent with the image of a trained professional (except for the comments above about AFOs in baseball caps). 

I don't see the problem with having a flat cap for cars and a Custodian for foot patrol? However, I have worked in forces that only issue Custodians, which I think is somewhat silly. 

Custodians command a sense of presence for Officers on the beat and, as it is such a rare thing these days, they should be retained so that this type of policing is visible. 

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8 hours ago, ParochialYokal said:

Baseball caps are what employees wear in fast food outlets and are not consistent with the image of a trained professional (except for the comments above about AFOs in baseball caps). 

I don't see the problem with having a flat cap for cars and a Custodian for foot patrol? However, I have worked in forces that only issue Custodians, which I think is somewhat silly. 

Custodians command a sense of presence for Officers on the beat and, as it is such a rare thing these days, they should be retained so that this type of policing is visible. 

I do agree, caps are a no go as far as I am concerned. They don’t really suit the image of the Police. I do however see the exceptions for certain specialist units.

The bump caps are disgusting to be frank.

In my force we are only issued a custodian. It never really leaves my locker as it’s only required on foot patrol duties.

The rest of the time on response we just don’t have a hat. Strangely I’ve never had any comments about not wearing a hat. Far more practical without too.

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22 hours ago, ParochialYokal said:

Baseball caps are what employees wear in fast food outlets and are not consistent with the image of a trained professional (except for the comments above about AFOs in baseball caps). 

I don't see the problem with having a flat cap for cars and a Custodian for foot patrol? However, I have worked in forces that only issue Custodians, which I think is somewhat silly. 

Custodians command a sense of presence for Officers on the beat and, as it is such a rare thing these days, they should be retained so that this type of policing is visible. 

Interesting that a simple baseball cap can undermine policing yet you think acting like a fool at pride doesn’t. That’s some messed up sense of priorities right there.

A BB cap it practical when frontline and can come  LED lights in the peak making it good for protecting your eyes from the sun and illuminating your PNB etc at night. Not convinced we need bump caps though.

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In over a decade of wearing the custodian, not the same one mind as it would be very stinky by now, I've never had any problems with it at all apart from it being "reappropriated" by another officer who lost theirs. I'm not sure how people lose them unless they were badly fitted or worn.

The only issue I had was forgetting to take it off when getting in the car!

Edited by obsidian_eclipse
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The BB cap is much more practical and comfortable (with a whooly hat for the winter). I don't agree with officers who don't wear a hat at RTCs, you're just another bloke with a high viz, the hat makes the difference. The cap can be clipped to your belt if necessary, it doesn't fall off if you have to run/fight and importantly here up north you can wear the hood on top of it to keep you dry. 

As for foot patrols, I haven't done one for years, I'd love to but it's a luxury now. 

Personally I think the custodian looks very smart, with a white shirt and may be a tunic. When you wear a black top and a high viz vest it looks a big silly. 

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On 05/08/2019 at 18:08, ParochialYokal said:

Baseball caps are what employees wear in fast food outlets and are not consistent with the image of a trained professional (except for the comments above about AFOs in baseball caps). 

That's what they used to say about tattoos, beards and regional accents... 

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