Police Allowed to Wear Union Flag Badges Jul 29, 2009 22:30:07 GMT 1
Post by cammy on Jul 29, 2009 22:30:07 GMT 1
The head of Scotland Yard today lifted a ban on officers wearing union flag badges supporting British troops.
The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, stepped into a row over a blanket ban that stopped officers wearing any kind of tie-pin badge.
A Met spokesman said Sir Paul believed these were "exceptional circumstances" and officers should be able to wear the emblems.
Sir Paul moved quickly after anger among officers over the ban spilled into the media. Hundreds of officers threatened to defy the order as a petition calling on the prime minister, Gordon Brown, to intervene attracted 1,500 signatures.
The force spokesman said: "The Met has a dress code policy which states that only approved corporate badging may be used. However, on this occasion, the Commissioner has decided to intervene in terms of officers wearing union jack badges.
"He feels strongly that these are exceptional circumstances and the Met should be openly showing their support for the British troops currently serving abroad.
"On this occasion it seems entirely appropriate that officers are able to show their support for these brave men and women."
The small tie-pins, sold to raise cash for the Help for Heroes charity, fell under a blanket ban on non-regulation clothing.
The row began when armed police patrolling Heathrow airport were prohibited from wearing the badges.
The airport is secured by members of the CO18 aviation security command unit, supported by dog teams and other specialist officers.
It also emerged officers were told to remove a union flag from Heathrow airport's police station on Armed Forces Day, 27 June, because it was not an approved ensign.
One officer wrote on the petition website: "How can the union jack be offensive? We must be the only country ashamed to display our national flag."
Peter Smyth, of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said of the ban's reversal: "Absolutely marvelous. I am very pleased.
"I don't think he had much choice really. It was such a no-brainer and it exploded today.
"People have always worn different badges at different times and no one has ever said anything about it."
(Cammy) and so they should... This is the British Army, being supported by the British Police Force, Wearing the British Union Flag... Good on them. The only people to object cannot be British...The door is always open for them to leave....