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Lancashire to replace baseball caps with traditional headwear

It comes as a move to reinforce professionalism and authority within the force.

Traditional police hats are making their way back for Lancashire officers in a bid to reinforce officers’ authority and professionalism. 

PCC Andrew Snowden and Chief Constable Chris Rowley have decided to scrap the baseball caps for all officers and PCSOs - instead issuing flat caps for male officers and giving female officers the option of bowler hats. 

Traffic officers will have white flat caps - meaning they will be visible when dealing with road traffic accidents, while PCSOs’ caps will be distinguishable by a blue band. 

The baseball caps had been introduced in 2016 along with other elements of a new uniform, including black jackets and black body armour. 

PCC Andrew Snowden said : “This change is about reinforcing the figures of authority police officers should be in our communities. The uniform and appearance of police officers is an important part of that and I think the baseball caps were a backward step in how modern policing is presented given that now more than ever the values of respect, pride and professionalism are so important.

“Police officers are expected to behave and conduct themselves in a professional way that inspires public confidence, so ensuring the uniforms they wear also uphold those standards is important, which is why we have taken this decision to embrace the long-standing proud heritage of British policing and return to the smarter, traditional headwear – a clear symbol that we expect our county to be policed with pride.”

The caps have been funded by the OPCC at a cost of £40k - the OPCC has said many officers retained their old caps and will be able to begin wearing them straight away. 

Lancashire are not the only force looking to revamp officers’ kit with the view of enhancing professionalism. 

GMP Chief Stephen Watson previously told Police Oracle that his force are replacing officers ‘number one kit’ including traditional tunics, shirts and ties. 

He explained kit will be “practical” and “properly orientated to the job officers do”, but also that it is about looking smart and professional. 

“There’s something very simple but powerful in giving people the right kit - expecting them to look the part, behave the part and performance tends to follow,” he added. 

Meanwhile, earlier this month, the future interim Deputy Commissioner of the Met, Dame Lynne Owens, took to Twitter to emphasise the importance of uniform saying: “Being clear on the uniform standard and sticking to it should be simple.”

She added that she believes an effective police service is linked to uniform standards.

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