Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Public quizzed on North Wales Police uniform

Part of North Wales Police uniform
Not everyone welcomed the change in the uniform

People are being asked to give their views on the uniform worn by North Wales Police officers.

The uniform, introduced by former chief constable Richard Brunstrom, includes baseball hats, black polo shirts and combat trousers.

The force has said there was no intention to make changes but to find out what people thought of the uniform.

The survey will be carried out online or via face-to-face interviews on the streets.

The force's new chief constable, Mark Polin, said he wanted to gauge people's opinion on the matter.

The survey is being carried out by Supt Simon Shaw, as part of his MBA studies at Bangor University.

It will ask people how the uniform affects public perception.

June and Michael Sargent, Bangor
I think the uniform should make them something to look up to
June Sargent, Bangor

People will also be asked whether or not different uniforms make officers appear professional and approachable.

Supt Shaw said the uniform had developed to provide operational staff with an uniform that is both "practical and comfortable".

"As part of my studies I'm hoping to find out what effect the uniform has on the public's perception of the police," he said.

Supt Shaw is in his final year, and the uniform survey is part of his final dissertation.

He has already spent time at the Bay View Shopping Centre at Colwyn Bay in Conwy carrying out street surveys.

Traditional helmet

"I'm aiming to get as much feedback as I can and at the end the research will be shared with the force," he added.

David Jones, Conservative MP for Clwyd West, said he took the view that baseball caps look unprofessional.

"The traditional helmet or flat cap looks significantly more professional," he said.

"It would be very helpful to the police in terms of generating respect from the public if they were to adopt a more traditional uniform," he added.

Bangor University students Lottie Such, Jonny Riley and Robyn Cutmore said a degree of formality in the uniform was something to be welcomed.

Loulou Edwards, Bangor
It's utility clothing, technical wear with lots of pockets etc, which will facilitate their job
Loulou Edwards, Bangor

"The uniform gives them the stature of authority but it is a case of getting the balance right," added Mr Riley.

Jeremy Collins said he thought it was a "tricky one" as the clothes needed to be "fit for purpose".

"I suppose the old uniform was a sign of authority - and the new one is a little bit more army in style which makes it a bit more aggressive in a way," he added.

Older people would rather the police wore a more formal uniform according to Michael and June Sargent.

"I think the uniform should make them something to look up to, especially for our age group, but maybe not so much for younger people," added Mrs Sargent.

Loulou Edwards, who works in a clothes shop in Bangor, said the police looked "more comfortable in more casual wear".

"It's utility clothing, technical wear with lots of pockets etc which will facilitate their job."

She said the current uniform was practical and "a baseball cap will keep the rain off their faces".

"I think it is easier for them to do their job with more modern clothing, as opposed to traditional," she added.



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