Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 13:30 UK

Met lifts ban on union jack badge

Armed Met officers at Heathrow Airport
Officers on patrol at Heathrow Airport had been told to remove the badges

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has made an "exception" to the force's dress code by allowing officers to display union jack badges.

Sir Paul's intervention came after about 2,700 people signed an online petition on the Number 10 website.

Armed officers on patrol at Heathrow Airport had worn the badges in support of the Help for Heroes charity, but were then told to remove them.

Sir Paul said officers should be able to "openly support" British troops.

The online petition said 100 officers with SO18 Aviation branch had bought the badges to support the armed forces charity.

Calling for an end to the "ban" on displaying the badges, the petition said officers "should have the union flag on their uniform as standard" as it stands for a "very noble and just cause".

'No-brainer'

A statement from the Met said: "The Met has a dress code policy which states that only approved corporate badging may be used.

"However, on this occasion, the commissioner has decided to intervene in terms of officers wearing union jack badges.

"He feels strongly that these are exceptional circumstances and the Met should be openly showing their support for the British troops currently serving abroad."

Peter Smyth, of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: "I don't think he [Sir Paul] had much choice really. It was such a no-brainer.

"People have always worn different badges at different times and no one has ever said anything about it."



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