Tag Archive: Burka

Burkas on the beat: West Midlands Police consider allowing PCs to wear religious garment

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POLICE UNIFORM: West Midlands Police are considering allowing Burkas to be part of police uniform

POLICE UNIFORM: West Midlands Police are considering allowing Burkas to be part of police uniform

In an attempt to boost diversity, one of the largest police forces in the UK is considering letting Muslim officers wear burkas.

West Midlands Police said they have ‘no barriers’ relating to the burka - which covers the face as well as the body - as they announced that they would discuss allowing the traditional Islamic dress to become part of a policewoman’s uniform.

The force also allows Sikhs to replace their helmet with a turban.

The hijab – which does not cover the face – was approved by the Metropolitan Police as uniform a decade ago.

Furthermore, Police Scotland announced last month that the hijab had become an optional part of their force uniform.

Chief Constable David Thompson said at a recent meeting that he would consider employing staff who wear a burka as he looks to increase black and minority ethnic (BME) officers in the region to 30 per cent.

Currently, no serving officers wear the burka - which leaves the eyes barely visible - but it is hoped the move would encourage more BME recruits.

Speaking after a meeting last Thursday, Chief Constable Thompson said: “We would need to consider our own rules and cultural sensitivity.

“Clearly we don't have any barriers relating to the burka.

“As it stands we have not had any approaches from potential recruits asking to wear the burka, but if such an approach was made it is something we would have to consider.'

West Midlands Police is currently trying to increase BME staff from just nine per cent.

The force announced its latest recruitment drive last week, and so far more than 6,000 people have applied for just 1,100 positions. 

West Midlands Police was recently named as one of the country's most inclusive employers. It ranked seventh in the 'Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers' list, which is compiled by judges from the Excellence in Diversity awards.

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Public in favour of ‘Burka Ban’

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BIGGEST SUPPORT: 84 per cent of UKIP voters said they supported a burka ban in the UK – the most of any political group

BIGGEST SUPPORT: 84 per cent of UKIP voters said they supported a burka ban in the UK – the most of any political group

New survey reveals 57% of people vote in favour of dress restrictions

When asked whether they would support a banning of the burka, the British public have said they would – at least 57 per cent of those asked did in a recent government poll.

Over the last few weeks, the subject of the burkini ban has dominated headlines around the world, with some French beaches first banning the modest swimwear last month before overruling it later in the week.

More than 30 seaside towns had instituted the ban until the country’s highest court ruled it illegal, and now it seems the topic of banning religious-wear has headed over the Channel.

In a recently published poll by YouGov, it was revealed that 57 per cent of the public supported the ban of the burka in the UK, in comparison to just 25 per cent who were against outlawing it. The other 18 per cent had no opinion.

Women and men had similar responses when questioned – 56 per cent and 58 per cent supporting such legislation, whilst the older and younger generations differ substantially in opinion.

SUPPORTING A BAN: The British public voted in favour of a burka ban in a recent YouGov poll

SUPPORTING A BAN: The British public voted in favour of a burka ban in a recent YouGov poll

Of those aged 18-24 years-old, just 34 per cent were in favour of the ban, compared to 78 per cent of people aged 65 or over.

It was also revealed that those who identified themselves as ‘working class’ were more likely to vote for the ban than middle class – although both groups favoured the ‘for’ vote (61 per cent to 54 per cent).

When analysing the data from a political standpoint, UKIP voters led the way in support (84 per cent), followed by Conservatives (66 per cent), Labour (48 per cent), Lib Dem, (42 per cent) both had fewer than half of the voters in support yet numbers were higher than those opposing a ban (37 per cent and 30 per cent respectively).

The only two demographic groups who were more in favour of opposing the ban than supporting it were 18-24 year-olds (by a margin of six per cent) and ‘Remain’ voters (by just three per cent).

A spokesperson for the Government Equalities Office said: “The government sees no need for measures restricting what people can wear in public places.

“We support the rights of individuals in keeping with Britain’s tradition of freedom and fairness.”

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