An operational hijab introduced by New Zealand Police is being trialed in England for the first time. The hijab is to encourage more Muslim women to join the police force.
The head covering can be worn with police headgear and equipment. It has been created after 16 months of research, said a BBC report.
It also has safety features such as magnetic fastenings which release easily if grabbed.
The hijab is being used by one Leicestershire Police student officer but it could be rolled out further.
Leicestershire Police said it was the first force in the country to trial the New Zealand model.
However, it is not the first to introduce a hijab. The Metropolitan Police, North Yorkshire Police, and Police Scotland were previously using ones of different designs.
The New Zealand version is made of sports fabric. It allows freedom of movement but is light, robust, and breathable, Leicestershire Police said.
The force added it had trialled a number of hijabs before, but none were successful.
Yusuf Nagdi, from the National Association of Muslim Police, said, “We have a really diverse community in Leicestershire. We want to truly reflect the community that we serve.”
“One of the barriers amongst the Muslim community and females, in particular, has been the hijab. So this gives us the best of both worlds.”
“We know there are a number of individuals who want to join the police. But they don’t want to compromise their faith.”
‘It is amazing and so comfortable’
A student officer Khadeejah Mansur joined the force in October. She is testing the hijab and said, “It is amazing and so comfortable.”
“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 individual needs, especially with our uniform.”
It is planned the trial will last until April when, if successful, it will be considered for national rollout.
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