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The end of traditional police hats?

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Collar

What are peoples thoughts on the end of the police flat cap and custodian helmet?

A few forces have already started phasing out the traditional headwear and started issuing police baseball caps. Here is the article relating to Cheshire Police who have already made the move over:

Police switch to US-style baseball caps after 159 YEARS of traditional helmets

police-672443.jpg   police-544760.jpg

Having worn one, I can honestly say they are not a bad move and much more practical. Over the years shoes have changed to boots, thick trousers to cargo/combat pants, shirts and ties to wicking tshirts. It was only a matter of time before the headwear was brought forward to fit in with modern policing and the subsequent uniform that is issued.

Of course there is a place for the traditional headwear for ceremonial events, but I can see more forces making this move.

 

Edited by Collar

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@Wildlife_Mgr

I quite like the idea, although it does make one seem less of an authoritarian figure. That said, it could make police officers seem more approachable to members of the public, which can only be a good thing.

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Indiana Jones

It won't keep my head dry like a custodian will on foot patrol. 

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Traffic Rat

Traffic in Cheshire are still getting "Proper" White Caps. They cant work out how to do a White baseball cap.

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Shmook

Lancashire are losing ours too.

The caps aren't my cup of tea, the custodian is part of British policing and should stay. It's change for changes sake.

Probably cost too though ;)

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Bacon_sandwich

I don't like the custodian issued by the Met.

I would be happy to wear the type issued by Kent, South Wales, City and the like. The one with a ridge running from front to rear. They look good.

Overall though I see little practical use for the custodian and would not morn its withdrawal from service.

I do however think that a baseball cap should never become the routine headwear for officers. Keep that for PO situations, firearms, POLSA, ect.

The peaked cap looks smart, is less cumbersome than the custodian and doesn't get in the way too much.


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JulietAlpha1

I think the custodian should be retained for ceremonial along with white shirts and tunics for the very special occasions. I prefer wearing my flat cap but I try to avoid it wearing it wherever possible. It's still quite cumbersome for response duties and I don't know of any response officers who do routinely where their hat every time they get out of the car. I'd be much more likely to wear a baseball cap.

I'd definitely welcome some modernisation in the Met's uniform.

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Growley

Baseball caps don't look very smart, and I'm personally not a fan of the more casual look many forces seem to be adopting. In our day job, smartness should be balanced with comfort, except where specialist clothing needs apply.

As for the custodian, I'd keep it for ceremonial duties but get rid of it for general patrol. It's not particularly useful other than as a shopping basket, and it's just a bigger pain in the butt than the flat cap during chases or roll arounds in my experience.


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HazRat
7 hours ago, Traffic Rat said:

Traffic in Cheshire are still getting "Proper" White Caps. They cant work out how to do a White baseball cap.

Sent from my PLK-L01 using the Police Community App
 

I think the Met have managed it. Our PO2 trained people have a range of colours to compliment their role epaulettes. I'm sure I've seen white.

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SimonT

I think we need an adult and sensible conversation about why we have hats and what they are for.  And quickly, so we can focus on actual stuff.  

Change custodian to baseball, OK.  But why.  Why were we wearing the custodian anyway? If it's visibility then I don't think a baseball works, unless its high visibility (please no) 

Or tradition? Baseball cap is not traditional.  

I think flat caps seem fine for police work.  Good for wearing at a collision, sufficiently respectful for doing a death message etc keep your head very slightly warmer. 

The baseball cap is OK for specialist units and psu etc. But you need to ask, why do we need them. 

Ambulance staff don't have one,  fire only use the helmet for obvious reasons. The local council staff don't wear stetsons.  

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Richhamdo
10 hours ago, Collar said:

What are peoples thoughts on the end of the police flat cap and custodian helmet?

A few forces have already started phasing out the traditional headwear and started issuing police baseball caps. Here is the article relating to Cheshire Police who have already made the move over:

Police switch to US-style baseball caps after 159 YEARS of traditional helmets

police-672443.jpg   police-544760.jpg

Having worn one, I can honestly say they are not a bad move and much more practical. Over the years shoes have changed to boots, thick trousers to cargo/combat pants, shirts and ties to wicking tshirts. It was only a matter of time before the headwear was brought forward to fit in with modern policing and the subsequent uniform that is issued.

Of course there is a place for the traditional headwear for ceremonial events, but I can see more forces making this move.

 

Collar, it Seems ok at first glance, has it got a hard front/ventilation ports,  and what of the force cap badge? It needs a small badge above the peak. About the same size as the metal one on the flat cap maybe. I realise that we have to move with the times so I think an embroidered one would probably be ok, maybe like the one on the NATO jumper but obviously a bit smaller, if they did this then I'm sure the girls in the night club would snatch it off you head and wear it for a photo just the same :). Rich.

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Techie1

It might be generic (no crest) in a hope to keep costs down. The more forces that buy it the cheaper it should be for all.

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Rocket

The replacement of the traditional custodian and flat cap is unlikely to happen anytime soon I feel. A few years ago when it was a really cold winter and there was lots of snow I was issued a lovely warm woolly beanie hat, and then told I was not permitted to wear it for public facing duties...

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Shmook
1 hour ago, SimonT said:

The local council staff don't wear stetsons.  

This made me smile!

for me, the custodian is a sign of tradition, and I am in favour of keeping it for a  few reasons;

Primarily, safety. It's basically a hard hat. It has a good brim all the way round protecting your eyes, ears and also back of the neck. A flat cap or ball cap won't do this. The caps we are getting are the 'bump cap' type, so still rated for protection, but not as good. I work on building sites and see the benefit of a hat far larger than your head. I appreciate policing is completely different, but I like the protection a custodian offers. I've never needed it as yet but better to have it etc.

As stated, they are good for keeping the rain out of your collar too!

The second reason I like the custodian is visibility. You can spot your colleagues far easier in a crowd, so they are a bit handier for situational awareness.

The third is the look or role. They are far more imposing when dealing with a naughty customer - they add height, and as they have been around so long, everyone knows it and I would suggest it subconsciously screams 'copper' and 'authority'. Added to that, members of the public have the same subconscious thought. A ball cap may be mistaken, but a custodian is instantly recognisable.

lastly, ball caps look scruffy, to me at least. Pointless changing to them.

 

im all for change and modernisation as and when needed, but to me this isn't required.

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JRS13

It's a sad time for the smart unique look of the beat bobbie if the custodian hat ceases to exist.

It is a iconic symbol of British police officers, and although some might say you look a bit of a wally in it (like my partner does to me) I will wear it with great pride.

I agree that the baseball cap is ideal for operations duties such as dog handler, firearms, OSU etc but in my opinion looks darn scruffy for street duties.

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