Fri, Oct 21, 2016 | updated 11:53 PM IST

Scotland Yard approves hijab as part of official uniform

Updated: Aug 26, 2016 13:49 IST

London [UK], Aug. 26 (ANI): Scotland Yard has announced that the hijab will become a part of its official uniform in a bid to create a more diverse force by "encouraging women from Muslim communities, who may previously not have seen policing as a career option, to reconsider".

In the past, Muslim police officers in Scotland were allowed to wear the hijab, but only once it was approved by senior staff members, reports the Independent.

The Metropolitan Police introduced the hijab as an optional part of the force's official uniform in 2001 as part of a similar drive to recruit a more diverse force of officers.

In a statement, chief constable Phil Gormley said: "I am delighted to make this announcement and welcome the support from both the Muslim community, and the wider community, as well as police officers and staff.

"I hope that this addition to our uniform options will contribute to making our staff mix more diverse and adds to the life skills, experiences and personal qualities that our officers and staff bring to policing the communities of Scotland," he added.

The announcement was welcomed by the Scottish Police Muslim Association (SPMA), a group that aims to build links between Muslim communities in Scotland and the police.

The drive follows the statistics from the Scottish Police Authority report released earlier this year showing that just 127, (2.6 per cent) of the 4,809 applications to join the force were from people with ethnic backgrounds.

The approval of hijab by Scotland Yard comes as France is debating a ban on burkini, an all-covered swimsuit which exposes only the face, hands and feet and is worn by a small minority of Muslim women.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday even called for a full burkini ban in France as he warned that immigrants, minorities and the Left were threatening to destroy the French identity. (ANI)