Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Uniform respect

I can't remember who said it, but the expression "you are what you wear" is a truism that is much overlooked in these modern times. It doesn't change who you are inside, but it does substantially alter the way you behave and the way you are viewed by others.

For instance, if you wear a smart business suit to work you are unlikely to slouch in your chair or dangle a leg over the arm while idly scratching your gonads. Hang out in your favourite t shirt and shorts and you most probably will. Not only that, but people - rightly or wrongly - will see you as less business like and as scruffy in your approach to your work as you are in your dress.

The same thing applies to a police officer. Of course we all want our policemen to be efficient at catching criminals first and foremost, but they should also present a figure of calm authority and reassurance to the general public. How can they do that when they look like they are dressed and equipped for urban warfare or wearing a high vis jacket of the kind favoured by employees of Taylor Woodrow?

Let's get our policemen and women back into smart uniforms and out onto the streets on foot patrols. It will go a long way towards winning back respect from the general public which has been lost in recent years.

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