THE hijab will become an optional part of Police Scotland’s uniform, it has been announced.

Officers and staff have always had the option to wear religious headwear but the force’s announcement today formally ratifies the Police Scotland hijab.

It will also encourage women from Muslim communities, who may previously not have seen policing as a career option, to reconsider.

A hijab is a veil that covers the head and chest, and is worn by Muslim women in the presence of adult males outside their immediate family.

Chief Constable Phil Gormley, said: “I am delighted to make this announcement and welcome the support from both the Muslim community, and the wider community, as well as police officers and staff.

“Like many other employers, especially in the public sector, we are working towards ensuring our service is representative of the communities we serve.

"I hope that this addition to our uniform options will contribute to making our staff mix more diverse and adds to the life skills, experiences and personal qualities that our officers and staff bring to policing the communities of Scotland.”

Fahad Bashir, Chair of the Scottish Police Muslim Association, added: "This is a positive step in the right direction, and I am delighted that Police Scotland is taking productive steps in order to ensure that our organisation is seen to be inclusive and represents the diverse communities that we serve across Scotland.

"No doubt this will encourage more women from Muslim and minority ethnic backgrounds to join Police Scotland."

Police Scotland say the force has built strong partnerships with local communities, including all faith and non-faith groups, and is committed to encouraging more women and recruits from Black and Minority Ethnic communities to join its ranks.