Dyfed-Powys Police uniforms may be made 'gender neutral'

Police officers

Male and female police officers could soon wear the same uniform in a bid to break down gender barriers.

Making all cells gender neutral is also part of changes being considered by Dyfed-Powys Police.

The force hopes removing gender-specific uniform requirements - such as different hats - will improve relations with the transgender community.

Assistant Chief Constable Liane James said at times procedures had "adversely impacted" trans people.

Some officers said during an engagement exercise traditional differences in male and female uniforms - with men wearing ties and helmets while women wear hats and cravats - were not "practical".

They could lead to transgender officers "being forced into non-public facing roles" and being forced to "out themselves" in the workplace when they may not wish to.

'Minimise gender differences'

The force has committed to a uniform review and 17 other changes to try and improve the experience transgender people face when dealing with the police.

It hopes the changes, to be implemented over the next year, will also remove barriers faced by transgender officers.

The changes, recommended in a report by the force's Gender Identity Working Group, include:

  • Introducing gender neutral changing rooms and toilets across all sites
  • Reviewing custody suites to make sure all cells are gender neutral, and there are no differences between male and female cells
  • Changes to the uniform policy, to remove any gender specific differences in uniforms, to minimise gender differences
  • Call handlers to be trained to make sure transgender callers are not referred to by the wrong sex on the phone

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