Sikhs want bullet-proof turbans for riot police

Police forces are seeking to develop bullet-proof turbans made of Kevlar so that Sikhs can join police firearms units or riot squads.

British Police Sikh Association vice-chairman Gian Singh Chahal told newspapers that research was underway.

He said: “Sikh officers have been prohibited from becoming firearms officers because our religion does not allow us to remove the turban.

“Nor can we wear the NATO helmet for public order policing.”

He added: “There has been some research done into producing a ballistic material for turbans and we would like to follow any opportunity where we could manufacture a ballistic product – made out of something like Kevlar – that would ensure a certain degree of protection so Sikh police officers could take part in these roles.

“We need to approach the Home Office and police forces and to gain their acceptance so that Sikh officers could become firearms and public order officers whilst wearing turbans.

“There needs to be a recognition from the Home Office that would allow Sikh officers to carry out these roles. The will is there from chief constables but perhaps not yet from the Home Office.”

Last year West Midlands Police spent £100,000 trying to find protective headgear for one Sikh officer who applied to join the counter-terrorist Operational Support Unit.

An officer from the same police force told two Christians that they were committing a ‘hate crime’ by sharing their Christian faith in an area of Birmingham populated by Muslim residents.

A controversial guide to diversity for Scottish police forces was published last month leading to accusations of “PC madness”.

It told Scottish bobbies to allow transsexuals to use ladies’ toilets, don’t call gays “homosexual” and not to touch a Buddhist monk’s head.

In 2006 the Gay Police Association published an ad in a national newspaper claiming that Christianity was responsible for violent attacks against homosexuals.

But the advertising regulator ruled the ad’s claims were groundless and offensive and said it should not be published again.

In 2005 officers from Lancashire Constabulary interrogated two Christian pensioners and told them they were close to committing a hate crime after they had complained about their tax money being used to promote homosexuality.

In 2003 the Bishop of Chester was investigated by police because he told his local newspaper about research which shows that homosexuals can become heterosexuals with the help of therapy.

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