Essex Police

I may be slightly colour blind and most men are but I have for a long time had difficulty accepting that whilst I was one of the boys in blue, my uniform was black trousers and black tunic.  At one time my shirt was blue to denote that I was not a senior officer but in the late 1980 all police officers in the UK began to wear white shirts not just senior officers or those serving with the Metropolitan Police.

Only now, in this latest decade has blue become more a part of the uniform colour but that all depends where about in the country one works and what one’s role is.

Most recently, officers with Essex Police took on a new look as a Force uniform review claimed it will save more than £18,000 over the next two years through changing from the traditional white cotton shirts to a new ‘wicking’ shirt, which has been introduced as part of a wider review of clothing in a move to cut costs.

A statement by Essex Police revealed that the Force spent an average of £51,500 per year on the replacement white shirts and ties between 2009 and 2011.  The new apparel will cost £84,000 to introduce and is expected to last until 2014 – the combination of fewer garments and lower prices are set to make savings of £18,200.

ACC Maurice Mason said the new shirts had been selected for comfort as well as cost. He added: “It is vital that officers have a uniform that is fit for purpose. The new shirts are durable, tough and comfortable. They will also offer better value for money.”

Officers across the country at Chief Inspector rank and above will continue to wear the white shirt and tie, as will all operational officers at ceremonial occasions or in some forces, carrying out those dastardly back office functions.

In Essex, and many other forces, police officers will wear black wicking shirts and it will be the Police and Community Support Officers that will wear blue ones.

So, once again, there’s not a lot of blue about.

Don’t forget to book your place on the Crime Fiction – Making it Real weekend workshop March 2012

  1. laurie27wsmith says:

    It does have a ring to it though, boys/girls in blue. Used to have the navy pants and sky blue shirts when I was in. (Queensland, OZ) At that time, the 80’s they were big on looking neat and not on being durable. I remember having my shirt ripped clean off my back, in the first few months of my career. An extremely large, drunken woman took exception to me stopping her from robbing a man in the street. She lumbered into me like a rhino on crack, grabbed my shirt and thump. Hit me fair in the face and I lay on the road sans shirt.Clean off, every button gone. Now they appear more military, with a kind of tradesman ‘s look about them and obviously harder to rip off the backs of junior constables.


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