23rd Oct, 2016

West Midlands Police could be first force to allow officers to wear burkas

Chris Willmott 22nd Sep, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

FEMALE West Midlands Police officers could be granted permission to wear burkas on duty as part of an attempt to encourage diversity within the force.

Hijabs – a scarf which only covers the hair – have been welcomed with open arms by the Scottish and Metropolitan Police, but West Midlands Police could be the first to allow the full-face veils.

Chief Constable Dave Thompson said he would consider allowing female officers to wear burkas to ensure cultural sensitivity is considered when hiring officers.

He added: “As it stands we have not had any approaches from potential recruits asking to wear the burka, but if such an approach was made it is something we would have to consider.

“Serving the people of the West Midlands is at the heart of what we do and I would need to consider anything that could be seen as standing in the way of that relationship.

“What’s important here is that we reflect the community we serve.

“We’ve already taken significant steps with a third of our current recruits from BME backgrounds but there’s far more to be done.”

West Midlands Police has announced the recruitment of around 800 new police officers and hope to significantly increase the numbers of officers from the Black Minority Ethnic background.