Starting on 10 May, police officers of the Northhampshire Police will be issued so-called ‘bump caps’ as headgear, to replace the iconic Custodian helmet and ‘bowler’ hats formerly worn respectively by male and female police officers. According to its press release, the Northhampshire Police will be the third force in the UK to adopt the new headgear, while pointing out that a very small number of specialist units already use the cap.

Not only will the new bump caps offer a better level of protection, the new headgear means that no longer will male and female officers be issued different headgear with varying safety ratings simply on the basis of gender. Research showed the most popular headgear among male officers was the flat cap, but it offers no protection while the traditional custodian helmet is impractical for most duties and is only fully protective when the chin strap is used. This is also the case for the traditional bowler hat for female officers.

Besides offering greater comfort, they new headwear is significantly cheaper than the traditional headwear. The decision is presented as the latest in a succession of ‘key improvements’ to police uniforms and personal protective equipment implemented over the past two decades.

Another point the press release needed to point out was that:

Further engagement has also shown that having to choose gender-based headgear is a barrier to the non-binary transgender community joining the police service. By introducing this new hat we provide a single protective hat to all police officers, Special Constables and PCSOs for general duties.

The Northhampshire Police force is seemingly in competition for the non-binary community with the Dyfed Powys Police force, which “is set to drop its traditional uniform in order for transgender officers to wear ‘gender neutral’ clothing.