09:10AM, Wednesday 14 March 2018
The sight of an ‘old fashioned bobby’ is set to return to police beats with the reintroduction of custodian helmets.
Thames Valley Police confirmed the return of the headgear this morning.
They have not been part of the force’s official uniform since 2009, when male officers were issued caps instead.
Chief constable Francis Habgood said: “We have carried out a limited trial on the use of custodian helmets in Reading and the feedback from both officers and the public has been resoundingly in favour of bringing them back.
This is something that the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has been very supportive of and I can confirm that I have approved the initial order for new helmets.
“The helmets will be provided to male uniformed officers and will start to be rolled out over the coming months.”
Female officers will continue to wear their uniform bowler hats.
According to TVP, during the trial officers said the new addition had prompted more interaction from the public, possibly because they no longer ‘look like a traffic warden’.
Others said they found the helmets more comfortable and more professional-looking.
Thames Valley PCC Anthony Stansfeld said: “I have felt very strongly for a number of years that officers patrolling the streets of Thames Valley need to be more visible.
“I believe that wearing the custodian helmet not only increases visibility but also makes them more approachable and provides greater reassurance to the public.
“The custodian helmet is an iconic symbol of British policing, still used by a number of metropolitan police forces, and I am delighted that they will be returning to the streets of Thames Valley.”
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