Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bras could be a Danger to the Police Force

            It is the little things a lot of a people don’t think about.  Everyday billions of women, all over the world, sometime during their get ready routine put on their bra without a second thought.  Most do not even think about the dangers that can come from that simple little under garment.  According to Health, Wealth and Happiness website, a bra is an important support device for the female breast.  Well in the United Kingdom an issue of safety regarding the bra has come up.  The U.K. Essex Police force has instructed their female officers not to wear bras that contain and under wire to work!
            Their reasoning behind this is simple, if shot, the damage from the under wire in the bra can be more harmful then beneficial.  Ballistic testing has shown that besides the obvious injuries that would clearly come from being shot, the under wire can cause metal to be driven into the skin causing more injury.  A letter and a briefing were provided to the police force to help them understand the dangers of wearing an under wire bra on duty and other alternative options that they could wear instead.
            One thing discussed in this letter included, “Although, there is no such thing as a bullet-proof bra, a good comfortable fitted non-wired bra from a retailer like Marks & Spencer would help prevent ballistic damage.”  In both the briefing and the letter, they recommend the officers to shop at Mark & Spencer, a common British retail store.  The letter also emphasizes the dangers the under wire in the bra can cause.
            Many officers agree with the information provided to them and see the dangers in wearing an under wired bra while performing their everyday work duties.  However one female officer quoted in an article in the British new feed, The Telegraph stated, “It’s a bit bizarre, as while obviously our safety is being taken seriously, the chances of getting shot in Essex are very small.”  She has a good point, as crime is lower in Essex than other parts of the United Kingdom.  However, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to injuries from a simple thing like a bra’s under wire.
Example of a wire less bra!
             I think the United Kingdom is starting a good practice.  Although, the likelihood of getting shot while on duty is not an incredibly high risk, it is always a possibility given the nature of the job.  At first I thought this was a little invasive of an employer to suggest but I see how they are just looking out for the safety of the officer.  They are not asking them not to wear bras in general, which I think would be some sort of sexual harassment!  Instead they are just asked to chose an under garment that is under wire free.  This is for their personal safety to reduce injury.  I think this would be a good practice to implement in the United States police force for the safety of our officers.


  1. I think its a good idea for safety. Although I would think if your working in the field, the best thing would be to wear a sports bra. I find it good that they are resolving a problem before something serious happens and then take a look at the effects of wired bras.

  2. Wow, I never even considered that something like this could be an issue. I guess it’s good to know and makes me kind of nervous to wear that kind of bra, just in case! I think it sounds a little ridiculous that female police officers can be told what kind of undergarments they are allowed to wear to work, but it is for their own safety.. it’s just weird.

  3. Hmm, I think they might want to do a little more testing, this theory doesn't really add up with my knowledge (which is fairly extensive) of ballistics and gun shot wounds. Wire is much tougher than skin and fabric and made out of metal. If a bullet were to strike there is a chance that it would sheer off a portion of the wire and carry it into the body as it passed through the skin. However, any energy required to break or tear the wire would not be availible for penetrating the skin or ballistic vest making it less likely the bullet will penetrate at all. Another aspect to consider is the way the bullet would deform upon striking the wire. Any deformation would also make it more difficult for the bullet to penetrate than if it were still perfectly conical. Of course all this depends on the type of bullet and the caliber of the weapon. I think there are too many variables involved to say that the ladies shouldn't wear an underwire. I know if it was me i would rather have shirt,metal wire, and skin in the way of any bullet than just shirt and skin.

  4. I don’t know what the studies on officers wearing bras with underwire and being shot in the chest suggest. I mean I understand they are trying to improve the safety of female officers but it seems a little far-fetched. It seems like it would be a freak accident if any underwire were to enter the body if an officer got shot in the chest. I feel like agencies should be focusing on more legit issues other something that barley ever occurs. Plus, its really none of police agencies business what type of bra their female officers wear. It just seems like a stupid precaution, shouldn’t these officers be wearing bulletproof vests anyway?

  5. Like Hilary said, my first reaction is that the officers should be wearing a bulletproof vest while they are on duty. When a bullet makes contact with a vest, the vest takes most of the energy that the bullet is carrying and protects the person who is wearing it. While it will probably create a dimple in the vest, the chance of the bullet piercing a hole in the vest and continuing through to hit a wire (or skin) is pretty unlikely. In terms of the agency telling its officers what they can and can't wear to work, I don't really think that that's appropriate - even though they have officer safety in mind. I think that they should be more concerned about getting vests for all of their officers.

  6. This is a very odd, yet interesting topic. I guess I have never thought about under-wiring and policing in the same thought. I would hope that most police women would be wearing a sports bra. I agree with what Jake said. It seems like its just another thing that women shouldn't or cant do. In a previous CJS class one lady that worked in a local police department was looked down on for having children now they are going to take away our cute bras too. I dont know.

  7. That is an interesting point they're making over in the UK. Like you said, thats something that no one would really think about, just kind of an everyday thing. Seems that it would be a pretty lucky shot to hit the underwire with a bullet square enough to drive it into the skin, but I'm not a bra expert so I can't say its impossible. Its a very interesting scenario to think about and if there is a safer alternative than I think its a good idea to make it mandatory, I think safety should always come first especially when it comes to law enforcement.

    1. I think they mean that the force of the bullet striking the bullet-proof vest would be great enough to drive the wire into the skin. While bullet-proof vests do stop bullets, you still have the force of that bullet distributed to your body through the vest. Honestly I think wired bras are a little outdated, but then again I do not use them and have no understanding about the support benefits of under-wire.