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Women coppers eager to drop trousers

Decry 'Simon Cowell sack-of-potatoes' look

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Blighty's female coppers are none too happy with their current standard-issue police strides, which they claim makes them look like a “a sack of potatoes” and, worse still, sport a Simon Cowell-style high waistband.

The problem, the Times reports, is that women officers are lumbered either with trousers which were designed for their male colleagues or a unisex version.

Bournemouth constable Alis Pugh said: “Most of the female officers have gone for the men’s trousers because they are just more comfortable but they are really high-waisted and unflattering. I know it’s not a fashion parade, but it would be nice to be comfortable.”

To address the matter, the British Association of Women in Policing (BAWP) is pressing the Government and the Association of Chief Police Officers for more suitable apparel.

BAWP's Liz Owsley explained: “Women police officers have constantly brought up the fact they do not have a proper uniform. If you are going out there, protecting the public and being in confrontational circumstances, you need to feel professional and confident.

“If you are going out there looking like a sack of spuds, you are not feeling confident and you are not going to do your job properly.

“Female police officers have been welcome in the force since 1974 but have never had trousers that fit properly. They don’t come in women’s sizes and the people in charge of uniform would have no idea what we meant if we said size 12."

Regarding the unisex look, Owsley said: “The unisex ones are supposed to be women’s trousers, but most women have found that they can’t get into them and the men’s are more comfortable. They say they are unisex, but in practice that means men’s in smaller sizes.”

The reason for this sorry state of legwear affairs is partly economic, since it's "cheaper for forces to bulk-order trousers that can be worn by either sex", as the Times explains. Added to this, forces face a limited choice of styles offered by just six suppliers. ®

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