Police bring in gender-neutral hats to make force more inclusive
Police Scotland officers will be allowed to choose baseball caps, instead of gendered peaked caps or bowler hats, to wear as part of their uniform.
The reinforced “bump caps” provide a non-gendered option for all officers in Scotland.
They are the same hats as those currently worn by specialist officers, like dog handlers and the firearms unit.
Assistant chief constable Mark Williams of Police Scotland said: “Where an officer would prefer not to wear a gender specific hat, it is right they have that option.”
“Members of the public may already be familiar with these caps, as many specialists have worn them for several years. Depending on demand for these hats, the public may notice some officers on regular duty wearing them.
“They are clearly marked as police uniform and we have taken the opportunity to remind our people of the importance of wearing their hat to identify themselves as police officers.”
All officers can now wear the baseball caps while Police Scotland considers a unisex hat design.
The current standard-issue hats are divided into two genders, with a bowler-style hat for women and a peaked hat for men.
Officers will still be able to choose from the standard-issue hats if they prefer, but will also have the option of choosing the non-gendered baseball hat.
It remains to be seen how many officers will choose the new hat.
In England, several police forces have introduced non-gendered hats for officers.
Police Scotland takes steps to tackle transphobia.
Last summer, Police Scotland teamed up with the Scottish government to confront homophobic and transphobic hate crimes in an ad campaign that rolled out across Scotland.
The ads challenged people with hateful beliefs in the form of a letter, signed on behalf of Scotland.
One states: “Dear transphobes, do you think it’s right to harass people in the street? Right to push transgender people around in clubs? Right to humiliate, intimidate and threaten them online? Well we don’t.
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“That’s why if we see you doing harm, we’re reporting you. We believe people should be allowed to be themselves. Except if they’re spreading hate.
The One Scotland campaign explained: “Police Scotland takes hate crime very seriously.
“In the last year there were over 5,300 charges of hate crime reported to the Procurator Fiscal in Scotland. However, there are many more incidents that go unreported.
“We all have a responsibility to report hate crime if we witness it – it’s the only way we can challenge it, and put an end to it for good.
“There’s no place for hate in Scotland. Report it to stop it.”