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Sikh turbans banned in police firearms teams

Sikh police

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has ruled that Sikh police officers who wear turbans cannot join firearms teams. Officers can choose instead to wear a smaller head covering known as a patka, which will fit under a helmet.

The issue of Sikhs earing turbans during police training has been a contentious one in the past.

In 2009, a tribunal awarded £10,000 to a Sikh officer who was ordered to remove his turban during riot training. The case forced the British Sikh Police Association to seek clarification from ACPO as to what was permitted.

Following extensive consultation, ACPO decided that a ‘ballistic turban,’ as proposed by the BSPA, was unworkable.

“The police service has a legal duty to consider the health and safety of staff at work and provide appropriate personal protective equipment to staff who are placed in high risk situations,” said Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, ACPO’s head of uniformed operations.

As a result, Sikh officers will only be permitted to engage in armed operations if they remove their turbans or wear the smaller patka head covering to permit the use of a helmet for protection.

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One Response

  1. I don’t care what your ethnic origins are, but, we must be reasonable about one thing. Rules and regulations should be respected in all organisations or busineses. If a Sikh officer’s religious beliefs is in conflict with a regulation: i.e; the Police Force regulation which insists on the wearing of a helmet on fire arms duty, they should understand that it would pose a problem in their progression within the force.

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