Police tripped up by own batons, blame new uniforms

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New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie)New Dutch police uniforms feature a broad yellow stripe (photo: Politie)

A mistake in the new police uniforms, introduced in 2014, means that officers can stumble over their own batons. A court recently ruled that the police have to pay one officer's medical bills after she was injured in this way, AD reports.

The new uniform pants has a pocket sown in especially for the baton. But that pocket is not properly stitched, which means that the baton drops down lower than its meant to and ends up at the officers' knees. This could lead to stumbles, especially when climbing stairs or getting in or out of cars.

A 31 year old officer in The Hague broke her thumb when she fell down the stairs in a police station. For months she was stuck to a desk and could not participate in shooting tests. She decided to take the police to court when they refused to acknowledged her fall as a work related injury.

"This is a question of principle", lawyer Paul Boezeman, who is representing to officer on behalf of police union ACP, said to the newspaper. "Officers are required to wear batons. Then it is also the responsibility of the corps management to provide a safe uniform." Last month the court ruled in favor of the wounded officer.

A spokesperson for the National Police recognizes that the baton and new uniform are causing problems. "At present we are aware of two official complaints", the spokesperson said. "A committee is investigating whether the uniform should be adjusted."