A VETERAN Labour activist has called for police in Southend to be reissued with white helmets to make officers more visible on the seafront.

Reg Copley, 85, a former mayor who served for more than 40 years as a Southend councillor, has called for police to reinstate the distinctive headwear, which changed after Southend Constabulary was dissolved in 1969.

Mr Copley, of Orchard Grove, Eastwood, said: “The idea was when there were crowds of people on the seafront, members of the public could look out of shops or wherever they were and see where the police were.

“I’d like them brought back, so people could see where the law is by looking over people’s heads where there is trouble.

“Police would be more visible with white helmets as they were in the Sixties.”

Mr Copley wrote to Essex Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston requesting the uniform be reinstated from next summer, but the suggestion has been rejected by the force.

A police spokesman said: “There are no plans to reintroduce white helmets to Essex Police.

“The force could not justify the costs involved in such a move and police forces across the country have moved towardsanational style of uniform, which makes such a move in the future highly unlikely.”