Monday, 17 November 2008

Dressed to shame?

Sir Ian Blair has brought a debate back to the fore that's been bubbling away for many years. He called for criminals on community service to wear uniforms so that, "people can see those people (offenders) have been sentenced to a community project."

However, as long-time readers of Company Clothing will know, this is not a new topic. In 2005 Hazel Blears called for a similar scheme and much backlash ensued, from MP Ann Widdecombe ("it might be worn as a badge of honour") to civil rights group Liberty ("degradation is no way of engendering a culture of respect").

In America this type of activity already exists, in a predictably bizarre way, with people being made to wear chicken suits to be shamed for their crimes. While it is obvious the UK would never take things to this extreme the question is still yet be resolved around uniforms for offenders on community service.

What do you think? Is this something that should be brought in or is it a step too far? What if the uniform was made to be tasteful and smart rather than designed to be bold and make them standout for the wrong reasons? Would that make it more acceptable?

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