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British police trial anti-grab hijab in bid to recruit Muslim women officers

The anti-grab hijabs are secured by magnetic buttons [Leicestershire Police]

Date of publication: 25 February, 2021

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Leicestershire Police say the hijabs will be rolled out to more officers if the trial is successful.

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UK, Hijab.

Police in England's East Midlands region are trialing anti-grab hijabs in a bid to improve safety and help attract Muslim women to join the police.

Made from technical sports fabric, the hijabs are secured by quick-release magnetic buttons which unfasten if grabbed by an attacker. The headgear is also designed to be worn comfortably with police caps and radio earpieces.

The move by Leicestershire Police follows a similar one by police in New Zealand last November. The anti-grab hijabs were designed over a period of 16 months by a team at New Zealand's Massey University College.

"We saw the New Zealand hijab and liked the look of it so got in contact, built a really good relationship and have been trialing it for a number of weeks," said Detective Constable Yassin Desai.

"We have had several failed attempts to get the right product but we are very hopeful with what we have seen so far... If everything goes well and the necessary tests and approvals are met then we could be rolling this out in Leicestershire," he added. 

One officer taking part in the trial said she hopes it will help with boosting the numbers of Muslim women in the police force.

"I believe it is important to have it as part of our uniform to make other Muslim females aware that Leicestershire Police caters to all individuals' needs especially with our uniform," Student Officer Khadeejah Mansur told reporters.

"Once fellow Muslim females see myself as a frontline hijab wearing officer I hope it will inspire them to look at a career in policing as there are no restrictions or setbacks."

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