Norfolk police to trial a new uniform - the traditional collar and tie

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Police officers in Norfolk are to trial a new uniform in a bid to look more professional - the traditional collar and tie.

The pilot will see 47 police officers ditch their black zip-up polo shirts - which were introduced in 2008 at a cost of £34,000.

Instead, police in Norfolk will return to the old-style smarter look of a collar and tie.

The force says research suggests the public regard police as more professional, honest and approachable when wearing the traditional clothing.

It is not yet clear how much the switch would cost if rolled out to all of Norfolk’s 1,500 officers.

But a spokesman for Norfolk police said yesterday it was hoped the move would reinstall public respect for bobbies on the beat.

He said: “The shirt offers a return to the familiar look of the British bobby while maintaining officer comfort.”

Assistant chief constable Gareth Wilson said: “Norfolk Constabulary is one of the top performing forces in the country and we are proud of the service our officers deliver.

“The new white shirt is practical, whilst projecting an image that is professional and smart, and has been designed to meet the rigours of modern day policing.”

The final decision to roll out the new uniform will be based on feedback from officers and members of the public.

Dave Benfield, general Secretary of Norfolk Police Federation, has welcomed the move.

He said: “Our members will continue to provide a first-class policing service, whatever uniform they are required to wear.

“However, the federation view is that a return to white shirts can only enhance that positive first impression which individual officers strive to achieve.”