From. Folkestone Herald. Thurs. 7.8.03.
Crime initiative to ban headgear.
People of Folkestone are being asked to take their hats off to crime.
Folkestone police and the Folkestone Area Partnership Against Crime(FAPAC)
have launched a new crime initiative cracking down on youths wearing baseball
caps and hoodies in shops to conceal their identity.
Businesses in and outside Folkestone town centre can now display police approved
posters asking people to remove such headgeear before entering the premises.
Approved at a FAPAC meting on tuesday (5th),hats off to crime was devised by
town PC john W with the help of Southern Housing Foundation officers and FAPAC
members Sue C and Jenny MacD.
PC W said " it became apparent to us that a lot of shoplifters wear baseball caps
and hoodies,making it extremely difficult to identify them on CCTV.So a decision
was made across the board to put a ban on them in any establishment wishing to
He added " Those who object can look at it as an act of etiqutte and courtesy
A gentleman should remove his headwear when enterinmg a building as a mark of
respect- in the simplest terms,it is rude to keep your hat on indoors."
Posters ere immediatley drawn up by Ben L,an IT instructor at th Bayle Comm centre
and were due to be circulated by police on Wednesday to all membersand non-members
wishing to participate.
On the possible opposition the scheme might raise from young people, PC W said
" I am sure the law abiding people of Folkestone will comply with and support this
idea.With the CCTV cameras and Shopwatch radio,it will help to further reduce
Of course the idea of tackling the root causes of why people shoplift in the first
place (low wages /incomes etc ) are left unattended to as usual.
It also automatically creates more suspicion of young persons,most of whom visit shops
innocently. (as do older people) and thus further isolates , marginalises and
views them as potential criminals.
Further,its usually churches you take your hats of in etc. (though I dont if I ever
visit -rarely). so no surprise as shops/supermarkets are now the new 'religion'.
I can see hatted 'Flashmobs' etc already.....