/ 13 March 2007

Indian police hot on the scent of crime

Police in India’s Western state of Gujarat are to wear new uniforms impregnated with the fragrance of flowers and citrus to help improve their image.

”Most policemen look hassled [and] drenched in sweat after coming from any [crime scene],” said Somesh Singh, a designer at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, which drew up the uniforms on request of the state government.

”They are surely not the best person one would like to meet. But if they smell good and fresh one might as well approach them,” said Singh.

The uniforms, to be introduced in the next few months to the state’s 300 000 police, use cotton with a fragrant finish, reflective prints and fibre-optic technology to make sure the uniform not only smells good but glows at night so officials can be located easily .

The uniforms will retain the scent even after washing as the fragrance is embedded in the cotton during processing.

Some police say they are eager to try out the new uniforms.

”We are tired of wearing the thick cotton brown-colour uniform with a broad belt and plastic badges,” said RK Patel, a senior police officer.

”If the new uniforms makes us stand out in the crowd, keeps us active with pleasant aroma and is yet very formal, then we are all for it.” — Reuters