New look for Essex officers
Police officers on the streets of Essex are sporting a new look
as the force rolls out its new money-saving shirts.
current uniform of white shirts and ties has been replaced by a new
‘wicking’ shirt for operational officers. The shirts have been
introduced as part of a wider review of uniform in order to bring
substantial savings to the force.
In the two years from 2009/10 to 2010/11, Essex Police spent an
average of £51,500 per year on replacement white shirts and ties,
costing £103,000. During the current year, the force has restricted
the numbers that have been replaced. The new wicking shirts will
cost £84,800 to introduce to the force and are expected to last on
average for two years. The combination of fewer shirts issued and
lower prices will save the force approximately £18,200 over the
next two years.
Assistant Chief Constable Maurice Mason said: “The new shirts
have been selected with officers’ comfort, as well as
cost-efficiency, in mind. The role of a police officer is demanding
and often dangerous so it’s vital that officers have a uniform that
is fit for purpose. The new shirts are durable, tough and
comfortable. They will also offer better value for money.
“The force has to save £41m by 2014/15 so we have had to make some
extremely difficult financial decisions about which areas we
streamline without compromising the safety of the public or our
officers. Reviewing our uniform budget is just one of the ways we
have done this.”
The new shirts will also make sergeants more visible to the
public and their colleagues by displaying the sergeant chevron on
“Sergeants lead our teams on the ground and are a central part
of the way we interact with our communities,” explained ACC Mason.
“We want to improve the visibility of sergeants in force and out on
the streets of Essex. The new shirts will therefore allow sergeants
to wear their epaulettes on their sleeve so that their rank is
Officers at Chief Inspector rank and above will continue to wear
the white shirt and tie, as will operational officers at ceremonial
occasions. White shirts and ties no longer needed will be
The new wicking shirts will be worn by operational police
officers, Police Community Support Officers across the county and
Traffic Wardens employed by Essex Police at Stansted Airport from
Monday, January 9, 2012.