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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 15:51 GMT
New plastic headgear for police
Police officers with the new helmet
The helmet is designed for both men and women to wear
Police are testing a new type of helmet in three areas of England and Wales.

Officers in Greater Manchester, Wiltshire and Dyfed-Powys will trial the new lightweight, plastic helmets, two inches shorter than the original.

The old helmets are made of cork but are prone to falling off when officers are running.

The new model is based on a riding hat and with a lower centre of gravity it sits lower on the brow to give more rotection to the forehead.

'Better protection'

A total of 100 officers from Thames Valley and Dorset police forces will trial the new helmet for a year from May.

Barry Taylor, the Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman, said: "Each force will be given 30 helmets to use by men and women in a variety of situations to ascertain its protection, durability and comfort."

"The new helmet has evolved as part of the development of the national specification for a police uniform.

"This latest helmet, whilst remaining traditional in its appearance and symbolic to the British police service, will offer better protection, wearability and comfort for officers."

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