EDINBURGH: Scotland police is preparing to introduce the hijab as an optional part of its uniform to encourage more Muslim women to join the police force.
The decision is part of the force’s Work Force Diversity Strategy plan which aims to recruit a more religiously and racially diverse work force into the police.
According to Herald Scotland, numbers reveal that only 2.6% of the applications received by police are from the minority groups; and that at least 650 people from ethnic minority groups need to be recruited for a correct representation of the 4% of Scotland’s minorities.
“Police Scotland is committed to working with communities to encourage under-represented groups to consider policing as a career. Part of this involves removing unnecessary barriers, which include considerations about the officers’ uniform. As a result, work has been undertaken to source a uniform hijab.” Said Peter Blair, head of resource management at Police Scotland while speaking to Herald Scotland.
Currently officers needs to take permission before wearing a hijab with the uniform. However, once it becomes an optional part of the uniform, no special permissions would be required.
The Metropolitan Police in London approved a uniform hijab more than 10 years ago.
“Anything that can help increase diversity within the service is surely to be welcomed and I don’t see why anyone would have any problem with that.” said, Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation.