Police hats of the world

Many years ago I used to collect police hats of the world. One of my mates was a police photographer, and put together this collage of me wearing some of the hats in my collection.  I recently came across this photo again whilst looking through my box of my old police bits and bobs.

Besides showing you how handsome I used to be with my standard-issue 1980s police moustache, I thought this picture would give an idea of some of the wide variety of police headgear styles in the world.

I think by the time I stopped collecting police hats, I had about 50 of them.  Most are still in a display cabinet in the Wellington Central Police Station, where I left them when I retired  from the police in 2005.

Seeing this photo for the first time in years has made me think I might rescue a few of the more interesting hats from the display case and put them in my study here at home.

And finding this photo provides the opportunity for a quiz for my readers. Using the numbered photo below, who can tell which country each hat comes from?  Click on the photo for a closer look. Note that some countries are represented more than once.

8 thoughts on “Police hats of the world

  1. Superb ‘tash, you must re grow it! Perhaps a pair of mutton chops to go with it too!

    I like the Clouseau style hat 16… “Do you have a license for your minky?” 😉

  2. Yep, I might have to try growing my moustache again for Movember.

    Correct for hat 16 – it is indeed a képi of the Paris Préfecture de Police (as per Inspecteur Clouseau of the Sûreté). I actually have that very hat here in my rim as I type.

  3. OK, I’ll play on… I recognize 5,18,19 as from the UK, 14 is NZ Kiwi, 4 could be French from the badge… 8 I am thinking maybe German or Belgian? – I am rather alarmed by the leather 15, seems very ‘village people YMCA’ if you get my drift, something you might find down the Blue Oyster club… 😉

  4. You’re doing well, Scott. Yes, hats #5, #18 and #19 are UK; hat #14 is indeed New Zealand, and #4 is a French police helmet. Hat #8 is my pride of place, a German polizei shako form the 1950s.

    The leather hat (#15) is indeed an odd-looking thing. But it isn’t from anywhere near Greenwich Village …

  5. No 9 is presumably from the italian carabinieri. In May we went to a wedding in Sicily (yes it did involve the groom’s family from New York!) and in the lovely little town we were staying there was an exhibition in the town hall of the carabinieri from the 1850’s. Lots of uniforms, medals, photos etc. My wife was rolling her eyes that I had found something vaguely military to look at a wedding.


  6. Correct, Guy – it is indeed an Italian Carabinieri cap.

    While I’m happy having this cap, the ultimate collector’s piece for those into the police headgear hobby (a bigger hobby than you might imagine!) is the full-dress Carabinieri bicorne with plume:


    Very Napoleonic! I never succeeded in getting one of these, though my mate did, and we had it on show in my display case for a while. I was very envious of it!

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