Travelling into your office space in uniforms or smart attire may be standard practice to many employees, even though it may not be the most comfortable of journeys. However, according to a right-wing Policy Exchange think tank, it has been suggested that Police Officers should commute to work in their uniforms in an effort to increase police visibility on the streets of London. It is thought that this movement would equate to an extra 1,200 officers on the streets, thus making the public feel safe and reassured. In addition to this, the think tank also suggested that police officers should carry out single patrols, rather than in pairs, in an effort to widen visibility further, and aid the police force in becoming ‘more efficient and effective despite the challenging budget cuts ahead’.
However, Paul McKeever, Chairman of the Police Federation has apposed the idea, stating that it was ‘impractical and would make officers and their families potential targets’, adding that “the suggestion that officers should wear uniforms to work took no account of the risks – including the threat of reprisals – as they emerged from their homes”.
Furthermore, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable, Peter Fay, spoke on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), stating that the idea for officers to wear their uniforms to work was “a bit of a red herring” due to the fact that “most officers travel to work now in cars, I’m not sure how many of the public would see it. If you’re an officer and you’re trying to deal with an incident, even on a bus or a tube [when] you’re on your way to work and you don’t have your radio and protective equipment, then that is an issue”.
Due to these factors which were not taken into consideration by the think tank, the Police Federation has since reassured officers that the claim would not translate into reality.
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