Top UK police officer tells 'scruffy' staff to smarten up

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London, Feb.11 (ANI): New Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has told his 2,000-strong officers and staff to smarten up and get rid of their "scruffy" appearance.

A Daily Telegraph report said that he told them he believed in doing the basics properly - including taking "pride in the uniform and looking smart" and attentive in public.

Asked by an officer about the issue of dress codes, Sir Paul said he preferred traditional, straight forward clothing to the modern fleeces and Airtex shirts worn by some other forces and units of the Met.

Studies have found that the police uniform has a profound psychological impact on the public and that even slight alterations to its style can change how officers are perceived.

Attempts to modernise uniforms, like the proposed change in headgear from helmets to baseball caps, have not been successful.

The Scotland Yard chief said that he wanted every sworn officer, police community support officer (PCSO) and member of staff to abide by what he called the five "Ps" - professionalism, pride, presence, productivity and performance.

He urged officers to get away from their desks and offices as often as possible o give a greater "presence" on the streets. He said that during the recession, the Met would have to strive to use their resources as "productively" as possible.

And he emphasised the basics again, in saying that "performance" was about "catching criminals".

The two-hour speech and question-and-answer session at a conference hall near Scotland Yard, was said to have been "well received".

Sir Paul has established himself as a straight-talking, no frills leader who in his first day in office said that he wanted to avoid becoming a "celebrity" police chief.

Asked about the controversies that dogged his predecessor, Sir Ian Blair, he said: "Ian Blair did it his way and I was a loyal deputy. Now I'm going to do it my way."

The 55-year-old laid out a straightforward agenda - solving crime, securing the streets, delivering common sense policing and being "intolerant of violence in any form". (ANI)

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