Plans to restore the classic British police helmet to Oxfordshire’s frontline officers’ uniforms have been slammed as “style over substance”.
Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld recently said the helmets – which could cost around £30,000 to reintroduce in the Thames Valley – would give officers “status” and boost visibility.
City councillor Tom Hayes said the commissioner should “think again” before bringing back police helmets for “practically the same cost as a full-time PCSO for a year”.
He added: “The Police and Crime Commissioner’s plan to boost visibility is a triumph of style over substance.
“You don’t get visible policing by putting on helmets, you get it by putting more officers on the streets.
“When St Clement’s residents ask what they’re going to see get better for paying an extra £12 on council tax, I have to tell them: nothing.
“The monies raised ensure the police won’t face deeper cuts when the police really need extra investment.”
A trial of helmets is currently taking place in Reading.
A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said: “The Force keeps uniform needs under review to ensure it continues to meet policing requirements.
“This, and the views of the Police and Crime Commissioner, will also inform this process of deciding any changes to officers’ uniforms.”