Scruffy baseball caps and easily-bloodstained vests are 'not the right image' for Northamptonshire Police, says chief constable

Northamptonshire Police switched to the baseball-style 'bump' caps and high-vis vests in May.
Northamptonshire Police switched to the baseball-style 'bump' caps and high-vis vests in May.

The new chief constable of Northamptonshire Police says his on-the-beat force will return to its old black uniform - because the new hi-vis vests keep getting bloodstained.

Last May, former chief constable Simon Edens made Northamptonshire the third force in the country to introduce baseball-style ‘bump’ caps and high-visibility yellow vests.

However, new chief Nick Adderly announced in a tweet that his officers would return to the old uniform as the caps 'do not portray the right image of the force'.

But yesterday (November 16) the chief constable shed light on his decision by saying not only did his squads think the caps were 'scruffy', but said replacing dirty and bloodstained yellow vests was proving too costly.

Chief Constable Adderly said: "Police officers have told me they don't like the baseball caps, and that the yellow vests make it hard to distinguish them from council staff and railway workers.

"Unfortunately, the yellow vests get dirty and even bloodstained, as they often do in this line. Once stained, the yellow vests look scruffy, and unprofessional, and need to be replaced. The black ones don't.

Chief Constable Nick Adderly says the new uniform is not 'the right image' for the force.

Chief Constable Nick Adderly says the new uniform is not 'the right image' for the force.

"I want my officers to feel smart, to look smart, and confident to take policing back to the streets."

Each replaced vest - whether black or yellow - costs £104 at a time. The Chief Constable Adderly argues that the black vests don't need replacing as often as staining is not visible.

The vests and caps will be phased out as-and-when each officer hands in their equipment to be replaced.

He said: "I've made it clear from day one that I want to take policing back to the streets and into the communities of Northamptonshire.

"To that end, I've got to give the police the tools and equipment they need to chase down the people who act with impunity in Northamptonshire."

Chief Constable Adderly made the comments at a public meet-and-greet with Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold in the Grosvenor Centre.