GIVEN that the issue of trust is fundamental to the work of the police, it’s important that officers, where possible, reflect the diversity of the areas that they serve. This has not always been in the case in some areas, notably West Yorkshire, where there has been a significant under-representation of BME recruits.
As such, the constabulary should be praised for having the foresight to develop a new looser fitting uniform for Muslim women who might otherwise be deterred from joining the police. An extension of the rule that allows female officers of this faith to wear the hijab, this inclusivity should be encouraged where it is appropriate.
Though some traditionalists will recoil at this, it does not materially alter the standard uniform and the initiative should, in fact, be judged on its results. For, if it helps the force to recruit more officers from the communities that it represents, and, in time, helps to build trust, it will have been a force for good.