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I came a cross a cap bearing this badge a few days ago - I've never seen a similar British police badge, apparently it's Dorset Police, post 1974

It's chromed but only the crown & highlights on the rest of the badge are left siver coloured, the rest is panted matt black, the badge itself is very thin & flat, no depth to it at all, it has west/ east wire loop fittings & it was affixed to a fairly good quality cap which had a blue "silk" lining, buff coloured leather sweatband with velvet pad to the front, shiny smooth black buttons, black plastic chinstrap & peak, & double vent holes at each side & the rear. Small paper size label was pre-metric.

Is this badge still in use?

Apologies for poor quality of the photos:

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Hi - Leigh. Living in Dorset, I feel I should know this - but, to be honest, I don't recall it in this colour. Dorset amalgamated Bournemouth Police some 25 years ago and probably this pre-dates the take over. Perhaps one of our members who belongs to PICA will be able to look it up ?

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Dorset and Bournemouth merged 43 years ago. At the time the County Borough of Bournemouth was in Hampshire - the border was moved as part of the 1974 local government reorganisation.

From memory it was Dorset Constabulary pre-amalgamation; then Dorset and Bournemouth Constabulary until 1974 and Dorset Police post 1974.

D&B was one of the few forces - along with Kent and GMP - to adopt a chest shield with the officer's serial rather than having collar (sic) numbers. Alas, as with Kent and GMP, this was not the kind of high quality shield worn by US law enforcement but a very cheap item that would not have looked out of place in a Xmas cracker. I am pretty sure that the shield had an all blue centre rather than black.

Again from memory a number of UK forces - including Merseyside, GMP and Essex - adopted these tatty looking coloured cap, badges in the early to mid 80s and I'm pretty sure GMP still wear them. Horrible.

As always I'm open to be corrected!

Edited by NickLangley

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Thank you, I had'nt come across this type of badge before - though I remember Kent's horrible plastic "sherrif's badges".

You have to go a fair way to beat Kent's plastic helmet plates of the 1980's for cheap ugliness & impracticality too - made of "chromed" bright red plastic in order to show the central backing to the horse as red, &, unintentionally, half of the rest of the badge as well, as the silver colourng chipped & flaked off.

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Thank you, I had'nt come across this type of badge before - though I remember Kent's horrible plastic "sherrif's badges".

You have to go a fair way to beat Kent's plastic helmet plates of the 1980's for cheap ugliness & impracticality too - made of "chromed" bright red plastic in order to show the central backing to the horse as red, &, unintentionally, half of the rest of the badge as well, as the silver colourng chipped & flaked off.

Hi Leigh,

Might you have a scan of the Kent plastic badge? Your color description is very intregingwink.gif

Ed

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Soory, I have'nt got any Kent insignia - the helmet plate was/is of the usual desgn of Brtish police plates, and 8 pointed star surmounted by St Edward's Crown, with a force coat of arms or similar insgnia in the centre, in Kent's case the white horse of Kent.

Basically, instead of a chromed metal plate wth voided centre to show a red cloth backing to the horse, the whole plate was produced in red plastic & coated in a slver colour paint, other than the red backing to the horse, with ugly results when the silver colouring was worn or damaged.

The breast badge was of black plastic with coloured crest above & silver coloured "collar number" fitted below, people who wore it told me that the pin fittings broke off & the badges used to get broken off, caught in vehicle seatbelts etc, & Id've thought that they'd be a handy thing for drunks to grab during struggles.

Edited by leigh kitchen

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Nick - they always say time goes quickly as you get older - I must tell you that this is true ! I would never have thought it was that long ago that we left Hampshire. The reason Bournemouth went into Dorset, was that they had no town of any size , apart from Dorchester and their rates base was very low. Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch gave them the extra money the County needed.

Interesting that you mention the experimental chest brooches. The Metropolitan Police pioneered them and they had the Met. Coat-of-arms at the top. I have severasl of them - also, for Bournemouth. The Met. ones are very hard to find and quite valuable. I will try to get a few photos taken.

We don't seem to have an answer to Leigh's badge ? Perhaps it would be worth a call to Dorset HQ - they probably have a small Force museum. I'm afraid I don't know any one in Dorset now - all retired...

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The shield was introduced as part of fashion designer Hardie Amies's revamp of the traditional tunic. Having a top fashion designer working on a uniform design is a bit of a contrast with the committee of ACPO members and civil servants who came up with the quite appalling (and poorly made) fleece and cargo pant combination that is now on issue.

With the old shields the uniform manufacturers never got round to the idea of having a proper badge keep so they did tend to fall off. Thames Valley continue to wear a shield but after twenty plus years officers are still attaching the badge to their radio loops because there is no proper badge keeper on their uniform shirts.

As for plastic insignia I believe that Hertfordshire also had one though they had the good sense to go for a slightly more upmarket Stabrite version. Still tacky though

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Reminds me - I came across Cambridgshire helmets which although having chromed metal helmet plates had chromed white plastic fittings on the comb, again, not very resilient.

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Could very well be, although I've never seen the back of one, only ever seen them on helmets

That one looks quite convincing as a metal plate - although there are certain giveaways such as the small scuffs to a couple of rays on the star. I've seen them with a lot more of the silver finish missing.

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