‘I like police to look like police’ says chief
Dixon of Dock Green style bobbies’ helmets have made a return to the streets of South Yorkshire as the country’s refreshed police service reverts to a more traditional appearance.
Although the distinctive tall helmets were never officially phased out they fell out of normal use in the county, but Chief Constable Stephen Watson said: “I like police to look like police.”The move means tall hats for male officers on walking duties, bowlers for female colleagues and flat caps for those using vehicles.Although officers will still wear the practical uniform – including fleeces and polo shirts – for everyday duties they are also being re-issued with white shirts and the ‘number one’ uniform with tunics, more familiar from an earlier era.Those will be available for duties when officers are expected to look smart, such as court appearances or when attending public events.The new guidance on headgear also helps to differentiate police officers from PCSO colleagues, who will keep their regular uniform.Mr Watson said: “It is about resetting old fashioned standards. I like police to look like police.“We are increasingly seeing people smarten themselves up; the cops love it.“You give people the kit to look smart and professional and they will.“PCSOs wear flat caps. We had got to the point where people were not wearing hats.“We have re-issued hats and number one uniforms. They wear the working rig people see them in, practical work wear, but we have re-issued white shirts so when officers go to formal events they can put on a number one uniform and look like smart British bobbies.”The new uniforms policy is part of Mr Watson’s work to revitalise the force, which has been going on since he took over to address a series of failings.