British Sikh police want bulletproof turbans

May 8th, 2009 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 8 (IANS) Sikh police officers in Britain want special bulletproof turbans to be developed so they can serve in firearm units, a media report said.
The Sikh religion requires its male followers to wear the turban, but existing police safety helmets do not fit on top of them, the Guardian reported Thursday.

The Home Office needed to make provisions for Sikhs and recognise that they had a role to play, the report said citing Inspector Gian Singh Chahal, vice chairperson of the newly formed British Police Sikh Association.

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

“There has been some research done into producing a ballistic material (for turbans). We would like to follow any opportunity where we could manufacture a ballistic product, made out of a synthetic fibre, that would ensure a certain degree of protection, so Sikh police officers could take part in these roles,” he added.

The association was launched last month to represent an estimated 2,000 Sikhs who serve in the police. Sikhs do not have to wear crash helmets under the Motorcycle Crash Helmets (Religious Exemption) Act 1976, the report said.

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