Hijab now an optional part of police uniform in Scotland

The force hopes it will encourage more people to join

Hijab now an optional part of police uniform in Scotland

Police Scotland officers at an anti-racism, pro-refugee demonstration in Glasgow | Image: Andrew Milligan / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Police Scotland has announced that the hijab - a Muslim veil that covers the head and chest - will become an optional part of its uniform.

Officers and staff have always had the option to wear religious headwear in that force.

The force says this announcement formally ratifies the hijab "and will encourage women from Muslim communities, who may previously not have seen policing as a career option, to reconsider."

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: "I am delighted to make this announcement and welcome the support from both the Muslim community, and the wider community, as well as police officers and staff."

"Like many other employers, especially in the public sector, we are working towards ensuring our service is representative of the communities we serve."

"I hope that this addition to our uniform options will contribute to making our staff mix more diverse and adds to the life skills, experiences and personal qualities that our officers and staff bring to policing the communities of Scotland."

While Fahad Bashir, chair of the Scottish Police Muslim Association, added: "This is a positive step in the right direction, and I am delighted that Police Scotland is taking productive steps in order to ensure that our organisation is seen to be inclusive and represents the diverse communities that we serve across Scotland."

The move comes in contrast to events in France, which has recently seen several areas ban the burkini - a swimsuit worn by some Muslim women.