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BULLET PROOF TURBAN; Help to arm Sikh cops.

Byline: EUAN STRETCH

SCIENTISTS are developing bullet-proof turbans so Sikh police can carry guns.

Sikh officers are currently barred from becoming firearms or riot police as their religion does not allow them to remove turbans to put on bullet-proof headgear.

But yesterday it emerged a turban made from Kevlar-like material is being developed.

With more than 2,000 Sikh officers and staff in the UK, the newly-formed British Police Sikh Association, has made bullet-proof turbans a priority. Insp Gian Singh Chahal, vice chairman of the BPSA, told the Police Review research had begun into finding the right material.

One Sikh PC, who didn't want to be named, said: "It would be incredible if they developed a bullet-proof turban."

Last year West Midlands Police tried but failed to find protective gear to fit on a turban after a Sikh applied to join a counterterror unit. The unnamed officer is reported to have claimed discrimination and gone off with stress.

For Sikhs the turban is a symbol of courage and spirituality and must be worn by all adult males.

The Home Office said forces should make "reasonable adjustments" to accommodate beliefs.

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IN TURBAN A Sikh police officer
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 8, 2009
Words:197
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