Police officers at London Pride are reportedly not allowed to wear badges commemorating officers killed in the line of duty because of concerns about its links to far-right groups in the US.
Although the Thin Blue Line badge is commonly used to show support for law enforcement, the badge has been subject to political accusations in the United States, where the badge has been used by opponents used at Black Lives Matter rallies.
The badge ban at London Pride, reported in the Mail on Sunday, was condemned by the mother of police chief Andrew Harper, who was killed on duty in Berkshire in 2019.
His mother, Debbie Adlam, told the newspaper that she considers the badge, which consists of a blue line stretched over a black background, to be a “common celebration”.
“Since we lost Andrew, we have considered the Thin Blue Line image as a shared memorial to the loss of these officers,” she said.
She added: “I am concerned that there are people who want to take away (the badge).
“I hope that today is not the beginning of the end of Thin Blue Line and all that it means for us in the UK.”
The newspaper reported that a Met commander before Saturday’s parade advised officers that the symbol had something to do with anti-transgender groups in the US.
The commander is said to have said: “Do not wear the ‘Blue Line’ badge/sticker while controlling this event.
“These are relevant to far-right and anti-transgender groups in the US and Pride this year is focusing a lot on the transgender community. This is non-negotiable and supervisors must ensure this is complied with to their satisfaction.”
When asked about the reported ban, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said officers can only wear badges related to the National Police Memorial Day charity, Help for Britons. Hero and the British Royal Legion.
A spokesman for the force said: “The Met’s dress code prescribes the official uniform that police officers must adhere to while serving the public without fear or favor.
“Policy has not changed. This policy makes an exception for the work of the National Police Memorial Day charity, Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion and allows officers to wear their badges while on duty. service.
Former home secretary Priti Patel condemned the reported ban, writing on Twitter that it was “absurd” from “interest groups assigned to impose their false stories and ludicrous claims”. to our hard-working officers”.
In November 2022, a spokesman for the Mayor of London said the Metropolitan Police Service’s (MPS) Uniforms & Appearance Division was looking into badge wearing “to ensure the MPS approach remains consistent”. with other forces across the country”.
The spokesperson said that the Thin Blue Line is “generally accepted” as a “show of close friendship” between officers.
The spokesperson added at the time: “Subtle wear of this image, for example, a Velcro patch or pin badge is not prohibited under the current MPS dress code.”