Thursday, 17 May 2012

Police Uniform Suppliers

These days cops are issued less and less police uniform, having in general to purchase their own boots, additional pouches and even vests unless you have a medical complaint!   Long gone are the days of the bobby in blue with his white pressed shirt and tie with bash hat and Dr Martens Shoes.  These days police uniforms are a bit more "Tacti-cool" with officers sporting combats, light weight patrol boots a moisture wicking polo shirt (worn under an anything BUT wicking stab vest) and an assortment of belt kit normally heavily customised by the individual officer to suit their uniform needs depending on their specific duties.

Basic police uniform issue will normally include a couple of pairs of pants, a few shirts, 3 types of earpieces, a belt and 2-3 pouches, baton, spray, cuffs and stabby....but getting replacements for lost, stolen or broken kit is always a nightmare.  Unless you are a special constable you will be expected to buy your own footwear at your own expense (specials get a uniform allowance specifically for boots but they have to hand in their dead boots and provide the new invoice and are normally allowed to claim up to £50 per year or £12 per quarter).

At the moment police uniforms are regional, certain neighbouring forces might share specific elements under certain frameworks, but there are no centralised purchasing agreements.  However this is changing and in an effort to cut police uniform costs procurement is being moved to a more centralised national level tender business in an effort to benefit from economies of scale.  It is worth noting however that this was the previous model and it was decided that regional force level purchasing would work out cheaper so this is a bit of a policy flip flop and given the costs of changing the model, will probably end up costing more again than it they left it well enough alone.

In general, despite the more "combative" apperance of the new style uniforms, most officers seem happier with the move to more practical, functional police uniforms than the old suit and clip on tie approach, and the issue of Goretex high viz jackets, fleece tops and heavy weight winter trousers have certainly made life more comfortable than the old capes ever would.

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