West Midlands Police 'Would Consider' Allowing Women Officers To Wear Burka

9 September 2016, 15:10 | Updated: 9 September 2016, 16:19


Women police officers could be allowed to wear the burka as part of their uniform, according to the chief constable of West Midlands Police.

David Thompson said his force ``would have to consider'' any such request to wear the garment, which covers both the face and body.

The College of Policing said it was up to each force to determine the make-up of its officers' uniform.

Mr Thompson made the comments earlier this week.

He said that currently none of the force's officers had made a request to wear a burka.

Mr Thompson said: ``We would need to consider our own rules and cultural sensitivity.''

He added: ``Clearly we don't have any barriers relating to that (the burka).

``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.''

The chief constable said the force had taken on a small number of Muslim women officers who had asked to wear the hijab, which leaves the face uncovered, in its latest intake of recruits.

The force's uniform policy allows the wearing of turbans for Sikh officers, so long as they are of a black material, and female Muslim officers and staff ``may wear hijabs''.

Male Muslim officers are allowed to wear kufis, and Jewish officers a yarmulke or kippah (skull cap), including underneath their helmets or hats.

The policy goes on to state: ``The wearing of other types of headwear will be dictated by cultural and religious beliefs and the hazards presented by the activity undertaken.''