Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 17:47 UK

Criticism for police catwalk show

New look police officer and police logo
The new uniforms were announced by the force in March

Police chiefs are being criticised for holding catwalk parades to show off their new-look uniforms.

The black shirts and "easy-to-maintain" trousers are being modelled by officers at six displays over two days at the Royal Norfolk Show, near Norwich.

However, the Taxpayers' Alliance group has said the shows are a waste of time and money.

But a Norfolk Police spokeswoman said it was a way of presenting the new uniform to the community.

The new look was unveiled by the force in March as part of a drive to become more "customer-led", which included putting more sergeants and inspectors on the ground.

'Sheer idiocy'

The clothing was designed to improve performance for officers working on the streets.

One model, Sgt Graham Dalton, said: "Our new uniform is more practical, hard-wearing and will help us to deliver the local service you expect.

When you've been mugged and dial 999 I don't suppose you care whether or not the policeman they send is wearing polyester trousers and a shirt that 'wicks'
Taxpayers' Alliance

"We will no longer be wearing the existing white dress shirts. They are being replaced with the new lightweight special-wicking shirts which zip up.

"You can really notice the difference when you put on your body armour."

But a spokesman for the Taxpayers' Alliance said it condemned the parade of the new look.

"Few things surprise me any more but this, I'm amazed by the sheer idiocy of this," the spokesman said.

"Does the Devil wear a new lightweight police uniform complete with easy-to-maintain trousers now? Is Milan the next stop for the Cool for Cops collection?

"They're paying someone public money to think up this nonsense, write about it in a press release then have police parading on the catwalk.

"When you've been mugged and dial 999 I don't suppose you care whether or not the policeman they send is wearing polyester trousers and a shirt that 'wicks'. You just want them to come and help."

A Norfolk police spokeswoman said "The catwalk shows take about 4-5 minutes, all we are doing is demonstrating all the new uniforms.

"The Norfolk show is all about the community and this is a way of getting the new uniform to the community."




SEE ALSO
Police force to wear body cameras
23 Jun 08 |  Berkshire
Restructured police get new look
31 Mar 08 |  Norfolk

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