Met Police ‘ban badge that honours officers killed in line of duty’


Police officers at London Pride were reportedly been banned from wearing a badge commemorating fellow officers who were killed in the line of duty. It's claimed the Thin Blue Line badge ban is because of concerns over its alleged links to 'anti trans far-right groups' in the US.

In the UK the badge - which features a black and white Union Flag intersected by a thin blue line - has traditionally been used to show support for law enforcement. However, its American counterpart - featuring the Stars and Stripes - has become politically charged, where it has been used by counter-protesters at Black Lives Matter marches in the US.

The ban of the badge at London Pride was condemned by the mother of police constable Andrew Harper who was killed in the line of duty in Berkshire in 2019.   His mother, Debbie Adlam, said she considered the badge to be a “universal memorial”.

Debbie Adlam said: “Since we lost Andrew, we have considered the Thin Blue Line image to be a universal memorial to the loss of these officers. It concerns me that there are those who want to take (the badge) away.

“I hope that today is not the start of the end for the Thin Blue Line and all it means to us in the UK.”

The paper reported that a Met commander ahead of Saturday’s parade advised officers the symbol had been linked to anti-trans groups in the US.  “No ‘Thin Blue Line’ badges/patches are to be worn whilst policing this event,” the commander is reported to have said.

“These have been linked to far-right and anti-trans groups in the US and this year’s Pride is focusing very much on the trans community. This is non-negotiable and supervisors are expected to ensure this is adhered to please.”

Asked about the reported ban, a Metropolitan Police spokesman told the Mail On Sunday that officers can only wear insignia associated with the National Police Memorial Day Trust, Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion charities.  A spokesperson for the force said: "The Met’s Dress Code Policy sets out the official uniform police officers must adhere to whilst serving the public without fear or favour."

“The policy has not changed. The policy makes exception for the work of the National Police Memorial Day Trust, Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion charities and permits officers to wear their insignia whilst on duty.”

Former home secretary Priti Patel condemned the reported ban, writing on Twitter that it was “nonsense” from “vested interest groups imposing their false narratives and ludicrous demands on our hard-working officers”.

In November 2022, the Mayor of London’s spokesperson said that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Uniform & Appearance Board was reviewing the wearing of the badge “to ensure the MPS approach remains consistent with other forces nationally”.

The spokesperson said that the Thin Blue Line is “commonly accepted” as “demonstrating camaraderie” among the police.  The spokesperson added at the time: “Subtle wearing of this imagery, eg: a Velcro patch or pin badge is not prohibited by the current MPS dress code.”

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