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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 13:03 GMT
Imperial bans hoodies on campus
Hoodies are seen as a security threat at Imperial College
Imperial College is banning the wearing of "hoodies" that conceal someone's face - in an attempt to tighten security.

The London university has called on students and staff to "refrain from" wearing a "full or half veil, hooded tops or scarves worn across the face".

But the college says that it will work "sympathetically" towards a "compromise" over religious headgear.

The ban is in response to the July terrorist attacks and fears of theft.

The college says its new "college dress code" follows the "security concerns raised by the terrorist incidents which had occurred over the summer".

'Full or half veil'

A college spokesperson added that there were also concerns about guarding the valuable equipment in this leading science institution.

To tighten campus security, the college says it wants staff, students or visitors not to be "dressed in a manner which makes individuals unrecognisable".

This means that wearing "hoodies" which cover the face will no longer be allowed, because it stops people being checked against their ID cards.

The rules also specify that students should refrain from wearing a "full or half veil".

But the college says that it has no plans to restrict students from wearing clothes which are part of their religious identity - and in the case of Muslim headgear, there will be efforts to reach a compromise with individuals.

Where religious headgear is in dispute, the dress code says: "The student's supervisor will, with the aim of finding a satisfactory compromise, sympathetically consider the issue."

The college spokesperson said that, where there were security concerns, this could mean asking a student wearing a face covering to identify themselves to a female member of staff.

Earlier this year, a ban on "hoodies" was introduced at Bluewater in Kent, one of the biggest shopping centres in England. This was part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour - and targeted the type of headwear that made it difficult for offenders to be identified.

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