Police in Shetland have been seen sporting a new uniform this week.
The new black shirts and trousers have been issued to all frontline operational officers, bringing Northern Constabulary into line with the standard for police across Scotland.
The wicking type shirt and patrol trousers are said to improve movement, help absorb moisture during hot weather or physical activity and complement standard issue body armour. This builds on the benefits of the layering principle for breathability, comfort and wearability over a sustained period.
Last year the force conducted a survey of all police officers regarding preference for the introduction of the new uniform, with most voting in favour.
Following a procurement process looking at suitability and best value, the uniform was issued to all frontline operational officers, including constables, sergeants and inspectors engaged in dealing with the public outside police premises.
Officers who are required to perform non-operational duties for short periods, such as attending court and meetings, will also wear the new uniform. However, if a court hearing or meeting is considered an additional tour of duty, such as during a rest day, the officer will be required to wear the white shirt and black tie or cravat. This will also be the attire of office staff.
A Northern Constabulary spokesman said: “Officers told us the uniform had proved very popular with their colleagues in other forces and a decision was made to introduce it to all our frontline operational staff.
“We value the opinions of our officers. They are the men and women on the frontline and we believe the uniform will benefit them in terms of comfort and flexibility during sustained periods of duty when required to wear body armour and carry items of personal protective equipment.
“We are now delighted to have come to an agreement to introduce the uniforms, alongside an approved wearing policy which maintains standards of dress and presentation the public expect from its police officers.”
The new uniform has proved popular in Shetland too. Inspector Angus Macinnes said: “Everybody is happy with it. It is a more modern and practical uniform and very comfortable, and is in keeping with national standards.”
? Meanwhile local police officers are focusing on rural issues, especially dances at country halls. There was a police presence at Bixter Hall last weekend (not a passing patrol) and police will be out again at functions in halls this weekend, in addition to normal policing.
Inspector Macinnes said: “I would encourage parents to be aware of what their teenage children are doing at weekends and what ‘going out with friends’ means. Having fun must be [done] responsibly and not cause others inconvenience and annoyance.”