New look for Cheshire officers Date published: 19th May 2016 9.37am

Officer with capBobbies on the beat in Cheshire will soon have a new look.

Hard caps are being introduced following successful trials in Northwich and Chester.

The unisex caps, which will be given to the majority of frontline officers (including sergeants, constables, Inspectors and chief inspectors), are replacing the traditional flat caps, with ‘custodians’ now reserved for ceremonial purposes.

Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “I want Cheshire officers to be equipped with the most appropriate uniform to carry out their jobs safely and effectively. Following internal and external consultations we’re introducing hard caps for most frontline police officers. This is a positive step for the force and great news for those working on the frontline.

“The caps are light but very rugged. Their size means that officers can comfortably get in and out of vehicles without having to remove them, and their modern ventilation and lightness means they’re comfortable to wear all year-round. Feedback from our officers was positive.”

A proposal for the new head gear was first put forward in summer 2014 Since then, much work has gone on behind the scenes testing out the new caps to see how they work on the frontline – and surveying the public to get their thoughts on the new look.
Feedback from both was analysed and this helped to shape the final decision.

Northwich and Chester LPUs have been trialling the hard caps for more than 6 months now. Officers were asked to complete a survey on what they thought of the hats in terms of practicality and professional image and whether they think the caps should become a standard part of the uniform. Almost 65% of officers said that the hard caps were practical, 70% said they had worn the hard cap more than their previous hat and almost 90% said they should become a standard part of the uniform.

Externally, the public was consulted via social media. Of 125 responses the majority were positive with 72% agreeing that the new hard caps would be more practical for police officers and 61% saying they would not interfere with the force’s professional image.

Cheshire is believed to be the only police force in the UK to have now equipped their officers with hard caps.