The Metropolitan Police may consider introducing gender neutral uniforms.
The lack of uniforms for non-binary and gender fluid people could be in breach of the 2010 Equality Act, The Sun reports.
An officer going by the name of Alex Blue told the paper that the lack of an alternative to the binary uniforms could be indirect discrimination, and instead a standard uniform that is made for neither males or females should be made available.
Equality campaigner Peter Tatchell agreed with the idea of standardising the uniform, telling The Sun: “Separate uniforms for officers is a legacy of the sexist past.”
Not everyone agrees however, with former officer Harry Miller telling LBC that although gender-neutral uniforms are a good idea, he’s concerned that the motivation behind such a move would be to “pander” to “multiple-binary nonsense”.
Currently while on foot patrol male constables and sergeants must wear a beat duty helmet, whereas women must wear a bowler. Men must wear black ties and women must wear cravats when wearing long-sleeve shirts.
In a statement to indy100, a Met spokesperson said the Met’s contract with its current uniform provider is due to expire in 2023. Before agreeing on a new contract in two years, they will consult with staff.
The spokesperson said: “The Met is proud to have a diverse workforce and has always ensured it adheres to the Equalities Act 2010. Subsequently, its uniforms are designed to cater for officers with protected characteristics, while also being practical and looking professional.
“The Met’s contract with its current uniform provider is due to expire in 2023. Before agreeing a new contract with a supplier, the Met is considering what it requires of its uniforms in the future to ensure officers are best able to carry out their job, while continuing to adhere to equality law.
“In the very early stages of that work, the Met is seeking the views of police officers and staff who have a wide range of protected characteristics, including those who identify as non-binary or gender fluid. This important and valued feedback will be taken into consideration before a new contract with a supplier is agreed.”