LONDON: Scotland’s police is planning to introduce hijab as an optional uniform in an attempt to attract more women Muslim recruits to the force, which currently has less black and Asian representation.
Scotland Yard, Britain’s largest police force, already has the option in place leading to Police Scotland studying various designs that would be suitable and cover the head and neck but not the face.
“Police Scotland is committed to working with communities to encourage under-represented groups to consider policing as a career. Part of this involves removing unnecessary barriers, which include considerations about the officers’ uniform,” said Peter Blair, head of resource management at Police Scotland.
“As a result, work has been undertaken to source a uniform hijab. Such a hijab is worn by many officers in police forces in England and across the world and Police Scotland is keen to replicate this good practice,” he said.
According to the ‘Scottish Daily Record’, Police Scotland briefed the Scottish Police Authority this week on the need to recruit an additional 650 ethnic minority employees to reflect the number of those from black and Asian backgrounds in Scottish society as a whole.
Figures show there were just 127 applications from black and Asian candidates in 2015-16.
A suitable headscarf has been tested and will now be presented for consideration.
Until now, women officers wishing to wear headscarves had required to seek the permission of their line manager, seen as a hurdle that was proving off-putting.