- High-ranking Met Police officer reportedly told staff not to wear the badge
- 'Thin blue line' Union Jack badge could cause 'offence' to some, it was said
- Officers had wanted to wear badge in tribute to colleague PC David Phillips
Police officers wearing an emotive 'thin blue line' badge in tribute to PC David Phillips who was killed on duty have reportedly been told they are not allowed to display the patch because it may cause 'offence'.
Metropolitan Police officers were apparently told they are forbidden to wear the badge - a black and white Union flag with a 'thin blue line' through it - because it could upset 'some communities'.
Officers had been keen to display the poignant patch in tribute to father-of-two PC Phillips who was knocked down and killed by a stolen pick-up truck in Merseyside on Monday.
Metropolitan Police officers were reportedly emailed to say they are forbidden to wear the patch - a black and white Union flag with a 'thin blue line' through (pictured) – because it may 'cause offence' to some communities
However, a high-ranking Scotland Yard officer apparently told staff wearing the badge could provoke ill-feeling or cause offence in some communities.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Met Police Federation constables' branch, told the Sunday Express the email was sent around the time of PC Phillips' death.
He said: 'It told officers they couldn't wear it because it wasn't functional with regulations on police uniforms.'
'The badge publicly demonstrates support for the families of fallen officers. However, there have been suggestions from a minority of senior officers that the badge could cause offence to some within certain communities.
'There is also consternation amongst some within the police hierarchy that the badge may be seen as some sort of political statement.'
Mr Marsh added: 'I don't see any way it can be deemed sensitive. Every officer in the British police force is British.'
However, earlier this week, after PC Phillips' death, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said he had 'no issue' with his officers wearing the badge, the newspaper said.
His comments came as he attended a ceremony with Mr Marsh to mark the 30th anniversary of the murder of PC Keith Blakelock in Tottenham, north London.
Scotland Yard said the thin blue line badge could be worn with a supervisor's discretion, but its uniform policy still does not give formal permission for the badges to be worn.
A Met spokesman said: 'The Metropolitan Police Service has a dress code policy to clarify the dress standard expected from all staff, whether they are wearing uniform or plain clothes.
'That policy gives staff the choice to wear specified pins, badges and wristbands.
Obviously supervisors are sensible to discretion to other items.'
Among the pins and badges which officers can wear are the Police Memorial Day Badge, the Royal British Legion's Remembrance Day poppy and the Help For Heroes badge or wristband.
The desire to wear the 'thin blue line' badge, which is produced by the Care of Police Survivors charity, came in the wake of the death of PC Phillips.
The 34-year-old officer was killed after being hit by a stolen truck in the early hours of Monday while attempting to deploy a stinger device to puncture its wheels. He was taken to hospital, but died a short time later.
His wife Jen, 28, and daughters Abigail, seven, and Sophie, three, laid flowers at the scene of his death on Wednesday, while hundreds of well-wishers also placed bouquets and other tributes at the site.