TVP to reintroduce iconic helmets for Royal Wedding
Thames Valley Police are set to re-introduce the iconic 'bobby's helmet's to celebrate the Royal Wedding later this year.
Following a trial in Reading, a decision has been made by Thames Valley Police (TVP) to re-issue the so-called custodian helmets in May.
They have splashed out Â£30,000 on the new headgear, but critics say the limited funds need to be directed to the health and welfare of serving officers.
TVP ditched the headgear in 2009, but they will be rolled out again to frontline officers.
TVP Federation said the Â£30,000 cost would be better spent on "health and welfare" services for officers.
PC Craig O'Leary, federation chairman, said officers thought the re-introduction of helmets was a "costly PR exercise" due to them being issued in time for the royal wedding.
He added: "It's worth remembering that you have to have officers out on the street on patrol in order to wear these helmets.
"If you speak to most members of the public in Thames Valley, you would find it's very rare that they see bobbies out on the beat, on foot, unless they're in the town centre and doing that kind of patrol work."
Helmets were withdrawn as part of a review into police uniform in 2009.
Since 2010/11, TVP has had to make Â£99m of savings, which has resulted in a reduction of more than 450 police officers, figures show.
A budget of Â£405m was approved in January amid further cuts of Â£14.3m until 2020/21.