James Forsyth

The police play dress-up

The police play dress-up
Text settings

I think this must count as one of the daftest things I have heard in quite a while:

“Two sergeants and a community support officer dressed in head-to-foot burkhas, jilbabs, hijabs and niqabs - with only narrow eye slits to see through as they accompanied four Muslim women.

Another officer wore Muslim dress and a head scarf showing her face as part of the scheme, called 'In Your Shoes', organised by South Yorkshire Police in Sheffield.”

Is this really the best use of police time? Also, I’m distinctly uncomfortable with the British state promoting the idea that the niqab is appropriate dress for Muslim women

One of the sergeants, who wore a burka, defended the exercise by saying, "I have gained an appreciation and understanding of what Muslim females experience when they walk out in public in clothing appropriate to their beliefs.” This statement could be read as South Yorkshire police implying that Muslim women who do not wear these clothes are not behaving appropriately.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

Topics in this articleSociety