Female police officers could be allowed to wear full burkas while on duty as part of their official uniform.
West Midlands Police said they would consider allowing women to wear the Islamic dress garment, in a bid to recruit more officers from black and ethnic minority communities.
This comes to light after police recruited 800 new officers in a huge recruitment drive, a third of which are of an ethnic background.
Chief constable David Thompson said it is important for the police to ‘reflect the community we serve’.
He said: ‘We would need to consider our own rules and cultural sensitivity.
‘We don’t have any barriers relating to the burka.
‘As it stands we have not had any approaches from potential recruits asking to wear the burka, but if such an approach was made it is something we would have to consider.’
The chief constable said the force had taken on a small number of Muslim women officers who had asked to wear the hijab, which leaves the face uncovered, in its latest intake of recruits.
The force’s own uniform policy allows the wearing of turbans for Sikh officers, so long as they are of a black material, and female Muslim officers and staff ‘may wear hijabs’.
Male Muslim officers are allowed to wear kufis, and Jewish officers a yarmulke or kippah (skull cap), including underneath their helmets or hats.