Police are being taught to tuck in their shirts and tie their shoelaces with the help of official leaflets.
Officers from Sussex Police were presented with flyers showing them “how to wear” their new uniform, which was introduced in May. The advice, which was handed out to 3,200 officers, compares a “prim and proper” policeman to a “shabby” colleague.
The leaflet states: “Serving Sussex Smartly by being proud of your appearance, you inspire confidence in the work that you do.”
On the reverse an officer appears with his shoelaces undone, shirt hanging out of his trousers and adopting a ‘slouching’ posture…
If the information on the leaflet does not suffice it states that further tips on wearing the uniform can be found on an internal police website. But the flyer has been branded insulting by officers.
“We’ve got these new uniforms – which to be honest are pretty rubbish as they shrink in the wash and tear too easily – and now they want to teach us how to wear them properly,” complained one officer who did not want to be named.
“We are all adults and have known how to tie our shoelaces and tuck our shirts in since we were kids…”
The new uniform includes zip-fronted “moisture management shirts” and cargo trousers.
The Sussex Police website states that the new uniform was paid for within the existing uniform budget without any additional funding.
It described the old uniform as “outdated and uncomfortable” and said that the new one was a “practical, fit for purpose operational uniform” which saved the force £55,000-a-year.
Ah-hah. I wondered when they would get to the important bit. Unless you think there’s something more near-and-dear to the hearts of beancounters than shaving costs?
No history offered – for the prototyping of the new uniforms, on the job, in the field? Humbug.