A police force is trialling sporty anti-grab hijabs to attract more Muslim women. Leicestershire Police have given the hi-tech headwear to a Muslim officer with a view to rolling them out to female cops on the frontline. Bosses hope the covering will not only improve the safety of female officers but also encourage more Muslim women to join the force. They are made from technical sports material and are fastened by magnetic buttons for quick release if a thug attempts to grab the hijab.
The hijab is designed to sit comfortably with police issued headwear such as caps and radio ear pieces. New Zealand Police introduced them into their uniform last November and they are now expected to be rolled out to forces in the UK. Student Officer Khadeejah Mansur, who joined the force in October, is trialling the new-look hijab. She said: ‘Wearing the hijab had made me very comfortable and complements my uniform very well, it is comfortable and far from restricting.
‘I am able to conduct my training just as well as everyone else and still be covered. ‘I believe it is important to have it as part of our uniform to make other Muslim females aware that Leicestershire Police caters to all individuals needs especially with our uniform. ‘Once fellow Muslim females see myself as a frontline hijab wearing officer I hope it will inspire them to look at a career in policing as there are no restrictions or setbacks.’ Detective Constable Yassin Desai said they had been looking for the right design for a number of years. He said: ‘We saw the New Zealand hijab and liked the look of it so got in contact, built a really good relationship and have been trialling it for a number of weeks. ‘We have had several failed attempts to get the right product but we are very hopeful with what we have seen so far. ‘If everything goes well and the necessary tests and approvals are met then we could be rolling this out in Leicestershire.
‘I have also been talking to other forces in England and Wales and the Home Office about it being a national solution for emergency services and frontline staff. ‘It’s really important for our Muslim officers who wear the hijab. Operationally, a standard hijab is needed. ‘A lot of research and development has gone into this product with academic backing. ‘It looks professional, uses very similar material to our current police uniform and has relevant design and safety features. ‘More importantly it will help attract other Muslim females to become police officers. ‘It will also help to provide role models to the community to show them they too can follow a career in policing.’