MORE than half of police officers questioned in a survey say they have been injured by their uniform.

Back pain, hip injuries, rashes, sciatica and stomach pains have all been caused by what they claim are ill-fitting uniforms.

Officers also said body armour led to "excessive sweating" and skin rashes.

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Six out of 10 respondents to the poll, carried out by Dundee University, said they had suffered "pain or injury" as a result of their uniform.

Some 28 per cent said their uniform had made existing injuries worse or had delayed their recuperation, while more than half said the uniform hindered their ability to do their jobs properly.

Officers said ill-fitting ­stab-proof vests, body armour, utility belt and ­shoulder harnesses were to blame for the injuries suffered while working.

They also complained movement was restricted by the clothing, making it harder to run, restrain and apprehend suspects, while driving and trying to get out of vehicles quickly was also difficult.

They also said their radios and personal protective equipment often got caught on seatbelts, doors, fences and furniture.

The report, initially carried out on the behalf of Tayside Police before the creation of Police Scotland last year, recommended looking into "gender-specific" summer and winter uniforms.

This is due to women being more susceptible to monthly body temperature changes, as well as symptoms of the menopause.

The report said: "Many officers are concerned about long term health issues through wearing the current uniform. Many described personal hygiene as being very important to them.

"Some officers suggest a quality designed uniform may assist with personal hygiene, reduce absence rates and in real terms save money."