New Study On Body Armour And Breast Health

HAMPSHIRE Police Federation has highlighted how it is helping its female officers, as a new study examines how body armour affects women’s breast health.

The National Police Wellbeing Service, Oscar Kilo, is working with researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the University of Lincoln to develop a training programme to tackle issues faced by women in policing.

The study will cover breast pain, support and bra issues, as well as evaluating the impact of PPE on breast health.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said: “This is a step forward for women in policing. Ever since I’ve been a Federation rep, I’ve always raised the issue of how body armour is not shaped for the female body. I know lots of women who have struggled with body armour.

“We’ve gone through the risks of wearing body armour if you’re breastfeeding, because it can cause mastitis. And we’ve also gone through the dangers of wearing an underwired bra, because if you take blunt trauma to the body armour, the underwire can come out and dig into you.

“We’ve always encouraged officers to wear sports bras with their body armour and, for the last couple of years, we’ve had a company come in and do individual bra fittings. They do a lot of work with the military and they help women find the right bra to wear with their body armour.

“We hear issues from female officers across the board, not just armed response. This study is a long time coming, but it’s very positive.”

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