Police uniform and equipment in the United Kingdom has varied considerably over the years since the earliest recognisable mainstream police force in the country was set up.
Police Uniform History
Following the introduction of the Glasgow Police Act 1800 which resulted in the formation of the City of Glasgow Police, and then the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 which led to the birth of the Metropolitan Police Service. As a result of the various County Police Acts, policing became a more standardised practice in the United Kingdom throughout the late nineteenth century and consequently, British police uniforms and equipment also became standardised.
Male police officers wore a formal work jacket with polished silver buttons, and black trousers with a sewn in truncheon pocket for much of the twentieth century up to the mid-1990s. They didn’t wear stab vests and carried much less equipment than today’s police officers.
Police Uniform UK Changes Made Due To Safety Concerns
As a result of concerns about the police uniforms’ safety it was suggested that the UK police uniform should be changed. Modern demands meant police clothing also needed to adapt as well still appearing ‘smart’, police uniform now had to be fit for modern day needs and advancements in technology.
From the 1990s the general rule of thumb was that the police could patrol in ‘shirt-sleeve order’ which negated the need for a jacket, given that its widespread use was hampering in some situations.
In 1994 the Home Office changed the uniform from the business attire with no protection of the torso, to a uniform with black trousers, blue NATO jumper, stab vest, duty belt and reflective jacket in agreement with the government and with the cooperation of many Chief Constables.
Although there are minor variations in the styling, pattern and insignia, the police forces of Great Britain, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar all wear a very similar police uniform. In general, these have taken their lead from the Metropolitan Police Service, due to it being recognised as the first police service in England. The base colour is a very dark blue, almost indistinguishable from black (and recently often is black), which earned the police the nickname of the ‘boys in blue’.
Female officers’ police uniforms have gone through a great variety of styles, as they have tended to reflect the women’s fashions of the time. Tunic style, skirt length and headgear have varied by period and force. By the late 1980s, however, the female working uniform was virtually identical to the male, except for headgear and sometimes neckwear.
Police Uniform Supplies UK From Patrol Store
Patrol Store is a UK based police equipment and uniform supplier. We can supply the police uniform needs of individual police officers up to and including force wide procurement of police supplies. We also supply specialist branded police equipment on an individual or larger scale – whatever you need equipment or police uniform wise, Patrol Store is your one stop police supplies shop!
A popular item with police forces is the Viper quick release black clip on tie. It’s not the sort of thing you should wear out to dinner with your girlfriend but it’ll certainly reduce any offender head-butt opportunities while at work. The clip on tie provides a safe and smart solution for police officers, door supervisors, CP workers, bodyguards, pub staff or anyone who needs a professional shirt and tie appearance in a potentially hazardous environment.
Another must have item, is the Op. Zulu Tactical Duty Black Vest which was designed by a specialist team of serving police officers and experienced product developers to overcome the problems with existing products and meet the needs of real police and security operatives. The Tactical Duty Vest is designed to provide the user with a comfortable and secure system for overt carriage of essential PPE.
Designed to stand up to the toughest duties, the Tactical Vest is packed with unique design features, to make life as easy and comfortable as possible during long shifts on foot or in and out of vehicles. For Monadnock Autolock batons and 26″ batons of all types the extended Baton strap is required.
So from police vests to trousers to base layers and police boots, PatrolStore stock a wide range of modern police uniform.
Please click police uniform history for further information.