West Midlands Police - one of the largest of the UK’s police forces - has been rapped after stating it would let Muslim women officers sport the burqa.
The force said it would look into permitting the traditional Islamic dress to become part of Muslim women officers’ uniform. At a recent meeting, chief constable David Thompson stated he would consider hiring burqa-clad officers in attempts to raise the number of black and ethnic minority officers by 30 per cent.
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However, even the Muslim Council of Britain aired its reservations over burqa or niqab-clad policewomen. The council said it would be “very surprising” if such a move was approved.
“In the media, the term burqa is used to describe the full-face covering but the veil with the slit for the eyes is actually the niqab. The burqa is actually the full gown which goes from shoulder to ankle with the face remaining clear. It would be very surprising if West Midlands Police were in favour of full-face coverings. The actual percentage of women wearing a niqab is very, very small and the women who do would probably not want to be in police,” a spokesperson for the council remarked.
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The suggestion has even been assailed by those working at the agency. “Apart from anything else there is the health and safety issue. How could you possibly have an officer pursuing a suspect down the street while wearing a burqa over their face? It is frankly a mad idea. I think the chief constable was probably trying to be politically correct because if he'd said outright no to burqas then he would have come in for some stick as well, an unnamed individual from the force said.
This article originally appeared on MailOnline.
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