Norwegians unimpressed by 'new' police uniforms

New uniform being trialled by Norwegian Police Image copyright Norway Police
Image caption Norwegians compared the outfits to those worn by secret police in totalitarian countries

Norway's police have moved to set right a misunderstanding after photographs showing officers in "new" uniforms were unfavourably compared to those worn by science fiction bad guys or street sweepers.

Daily newspaper Aftenposten flagged up people's negative reactions to the uniforms, saying that the Facebook fashion police had given them "a unanimous thumbs down". The paper reported that tests began on the grey-green "urban camouflage" outfits on Monday, and that they were designed to replace the black jumpsuits worn by armed officers or those in special units. It suggested the new colouring "could be associated with a stated desire to slip more into the crowds".

Norwegians took to Aftenposten's Facebook page in their hundreds to declare the uniforms "a late April Fool's joke", "street sweepers' uniforms", or something "used by the military in North Korea, fine if you work for a fascist regime". One user posted: "The Empire Strikes Back, have they paid royalties to [George] Lucas?"

But it's all a storm in a teacup, with the police saying that the design has not been finalised yet.

"This is a trial project, and the uniforms will only be tested and worn in training situations - not when interacting with the public," Jorn Schjelderup of the National Police Directorate tells the BBC. "This means that you will not see policemen or -women dressed in these uniforms walking down the street or on patrols," he says, confirming that a final decision on new police uniforms won't be made until a two-year pilot concludes.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption This is how Norwegians expect to see their police officers

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