The new bump caps issued to Gloucestershire Police officers are a more modern, more protective and more cost-effective addition to the police uniform, the Federation has said.

The baseball-style caps, that replaced the flat caps this summer are a welcome addition, said Mike Harrison, Federation Chair.

The unisex caps have been controversial, with some detractors saying they make officers look like they work in fast-food restaurants, but Mike said they proved popular at recent events, and that they were more practical. Gloucestershire Police officers sported the caps in front of 170,000 visitors to the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford this month, and they had only received positive attention, he said.

Mike added: “There has been controversy – I think because this is a move away from the traditional look of the custodian helmet. All officers are now wearing bump caps and we’ve had no negative feedback or complaints. We support them. They are a better replacement to the softer flat caps that we used to wear. Because they have a reinforced dome inside, they offer more protection than the flat caps and the same as the custodian helmet.

“So they are good for officer safety, they offer more sun protection with the visor, they are more cost effective and more modern-looking. They are being more widely worn than the old flat caps – they are a decent piece of kit.”

The caps were originally trialed in Cheltenham last year, but they have now been issued to all frontline officers. Custodian helmets will be retained for formal occasions and ceremonial use.

Sergeant Mark Burns told Gloucestershire Live that he was happy with his new cap, which he wears on searches and similar duties. He said “they don’t fall off and they offer more protection,” adding that they made officers more approachable for young people.