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Wednesday, 27 March, 2002, 15:58 GMT
Name badges part of new uniforms
Trainee officers modelled the five new uniforms
Police officers will wear name badges as part of the new Police Service of Northern Ireland uniforms, which were put on show for the first time in Belfast on Wednesday.

The uniforms are part of the overall changes to policing in the province and will be worn by the first recruits to the new service from 5 April.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan McQuillan said some officers did have concerns about name badges, but they would be wearing them in most areas from next month.

The new uniform was developed after one of the most extensive programmes of research and consultation ever undertaken.


We believe the new emblem is one which all communities in Northern Ireland, including members of the police service, can claim as their own

Prof Desmond Rea Policing Board

However, the Police Federation said it was against putting officers' names on the new uniforms.

The federation, which represents serving officers including members of the PSNI's full and part time reserve forces, said the time was not right for the move.

The uniform carries the service's new badge which was unanimously agreed by the Policing Board in December last year.

The emblem features a Saint Patrick's Cross surrounded by six symbols - a harp, crown, shamrock, laurel leaf, torch and scales of justice.

Speaking at the unveiling, the chairman of the Policing Board, Professor Desmond Rea, said the uniforms represented a "very significant and symbolic step for policing in Northern Ireland".

"We believe the new emblem is one which all communities in Northern Ireland, including members of the police service, can claim as their own," he said.

"The emblem explores the notion of inclusiveness and parity through the simple stylistic representation of a variety of symbols that reflect diversity, hope and the desire to mutually respect and protect difference through policing.

"It is these values which represent the future of policing and which we are working towards to foster and protect in the pursuit of an effective and efficient police service for everyone"

Option

The new bottle green uniform, was modelled by student officers and their trainers.

The uniform comes in five forms.

The number one outfit is to be used for formal and ceremonial occasions. Female officers have the option of skirts or trousers.

Assistant Chief Constable: Alan McQuillan

Uniform number two will be the one seen most often and worn by beat and patrol officers. It includes the option of white long-sleeve shirt and tie or short-sleeve open-neck shirt.

Pullovers with police embossed on the front in gold lettering and trousers have been given a degree of flame-proofing.

The number three uniform, a one-piece outfit, is for search duties and has police emblazoned across the back in large white lettering.

The number four uniform, for rural patrol work, has waterproof trousers and the option of gaiters to be worn when operating across country.

The final uniform, for public order, is a similar one-piece uniform to its predecessor but has a remodelled and strengthened helmet.

Neutral

New Italian leather durable and waterproof boots have been designed for use with all uniforms.

The recladding of the whole service is costing 4.5 million.

Policing legislation in the province states that police emblems and stations are to be politically and religiously neutral.

Sinn Fein is the only major party which refused to endorse the PSNI by taking its places on the Policing Board, and had no input into the badge decision.

The first batch of between 260-300 Police Service of Northern Ireland trainees - selected on a 50% Catholic, 50% Protestant and others basis - started their training on 4 November. They are also waiting for their first full PSNI uniform.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Assistant chief constable Alan McQuillan:
"In the majority of areas in Northern Ireland officers will be wearing the new badges"
BBC NI's Yvette Shapiro:
"The uniforms bear the new badge approved by the Policing Board"
See also:

12 Dec 01 | Northern Ireland
Board agrees on NI police badge
19 Nov 01 | Northern Ireland
Unionists reject police badge design
04 Nov 01 | Northern Ireland
'New era' as NI police change name
12 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Police recruitment 'will be 50:50'
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