No Turban Ban for Sikh PSNI Officers

August 23, 2007

Author: Deborah McAleese

Source: Belfast Telegraph

Ethnic minorities in the PSNI will be allowed to wear a turban or other religious headwear on duty, provided it does not pose a safety risk, police have confirmed.

The PSNI verified its position on the use of religious or traditional headwear after a row erupted over a decision by An Garda Siochana not to permit a Sikh man training to be an officer to wear a turban on duty.

The man, an IT professional in his 20s training to be part of the Garda Reserve, has been told he must wear a standard issue hat while on operational duty.

In contrast, the PSNI said it is happy to allow officers to wear specific headwear on duty for religious or cultural purposes.

However, in instances like the policing of public disorder it is likely the headwear would not be permitted for safety reasons.