Bobbies on the beat in West Yorkshire are to ditch the traditional police helmet in favour of peaked caps.

West Yorkshire Police made the decision to phase out the helmets this year after a survey found the “overwhelming majority” of officers wanted to do away with them.

The traditional helmet known as the “custodian” will still be worn on ceremonial occasions such as funerals and Remembrance Day parades.

West Yorkshire is the second force to make the change after Thames Valley did so five years ago.

Police helmet 'custodian' is to be phased out in 2015 by West Yorkshire Police
 

Supt Keith Gilert said: “What we have found increasingly is that as the duties carried out by officers – and their uniforms – have evolved, peaked caps have become more appropriate and more in keeping than the traditional helmets in many situations.

“Whilst this move recognises the operational reality of modern policing, West Yorkshire Police firmly recognises the iconic importance and ceremonial significance of the traditional police helmet.”

Nick Smart, chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Federation, backed the change and said: “Helmets fall off heads, they’re cumbersome and a lot of the time they weren’t getting used.

“Officers in cars would chuck them on the back seat and not put them on to deal with an incident.”

The helmets were first used by the Metropolitan Police in 1863, the “custodian” helmet was based on the spiked Pickelhaube worn by the Prussian army.