Home News Iconic British police helmet making a comeback, to aid shorter officers

Iconic British police helmet making a comeback, to aid shorter officers

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A British policeman.  Credit: Steve Punter
A British policeman. Credit: Steve Punter


Thames Valley Police, one of the largest forces in Britain, is considering re-introducing the iconic tall, British police helmet.

The hat, known as the custodian, was first introduced in 1863 and was originally made of cork– covered with felt or serge– then later made of hard-wearing plastic. It was famously worn by Jack Warner in the 1970’s BBC TV series, “Dixon of Dock Green”– about daily life at a London police station.

Thames Valley police headgear.  Credit: Kaihsu Tai.
Thames Valley police headgear. Credit: Kaihsu Tai.

Over the years it became a cultural icon. The helmet was notably used to “protect the modesty” of a streaker at a 1974 rugby match between England and Wales at Twickenham.

Flatter, more modern headgear started to take its place in recent years, however.

One local police commissioner told the Telegraph that shorter officers are not always visible to the public with the more modern, peaked caps. The advantages with those caps are, they’re less likely to fall off and can be worn in cars.

With no cost estimate yet for the revival of the helmet, town officials in Reading say they still need more details about it, but are open to the idea.

They plan to trial a helmet initiative in Reading town centre – one of the UK’s top retail destinations in the county of Berkshire. The Thames Valley police dept. covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

 

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