Last updated on October 13th, 2023 at 07:58 pmReading Time: 2 minutes
It may not surprise you to learn that I’m vexed, again.
It has come to my notice, from multiple sources, that the Metropolitan Police has introduced a new ‘policy’ on the wearing of the Thin Blue Line patch. I believe that they have banned it from being worn, along with two others, if not all. I’m not familiar with the other two patches, but I have heard that one of them features the word PUNISHER, which personally I wouldn’t be in favour of. Therefore my comments and opinions only relate to the Thin Blue Line patch that I am familiar with.
This morning’s vex was sparked by this
I don’t actually know Andrew Fox, but I gather he’s a former Army Officer.
Once my vexation subsided just a little I did a little bit of research and discovered two relevant items.
In the ‘blue’ corner
These badges are worn by Police Officers around the world to signify their part in the “Thin Blue Line“.
It is generally agreed that the badges represent good and evil in the world – with the only thing standing between them is the “Thin Blue Line” of Law Enforcement.
And in the ‘red’ corner, this from the Greater London Authority.
The uniform and dress code policy of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) states that the MPS don’t wear badges advertising causes, beliefs, or charities, except in a few circumstances such as the Police Memorial Day badge, the red poppy of The Royal British Legion, and the Help for Heroes badge and wrist band. Despite this, I still regularly see officers walking around with the ‘thin blue line’ badges. Are these badges considered acceptable under the MPS uniform and dress code policy and if not, what steps are the MPS taking to ensure that these badges are not worn by officers on duty?
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Uniform & Appearance Board is reviewing the wearing of this badge to ensure the MPS approach remains consistent with other forces nationally.
The ‘Thin Blue Line’ imagery is commonly accepted as demonstrating camaraderie among the police family and in support for a number of police charities including those supporting the survivors of officers killed in the line of duty.
It is not representative of a specific cause, belief or charity; rather a general commonality among police officers, police staff, police community support officers, special constables and the wider policing family. Images overlaid with the ‘Thin Blue Line’ are typically posted online following the death of a police officer as a mark of remembrance and respect. Subtle wearing of this imagery, e.g. a Velcro patch or pin badge is not prohibited by the current MPS dress code.
(My italics and bolding)
The remarks from the GLA above are dated November 2022, so not that long ago.
Time will tell whether or not this new, alleged, policy is implemented, but in the mean time I have this to say.
As a retired officer and MOP I am appalled by this. If I complain about rainbow cars, helmets, epaulettes, bootlaces and just about everything else I am branded homophobic, which is stereotyping.