The iconic police helmet will be returned to the heads of Buckinghamshire's police officers, it has been announced today.

Police commissioner Anthony Stansfeld said re-issuing the headwear to officers would boost visibility and reassure the public - at a cost of around £30,000.

The helmets, which were scrapped by the force in 2009, will be rolled out to male officers in the coming months.

Female officers will continue to wear their uniform bowler hats.

Mr Stansfeld said: “I have felt very strongly for a number of years that officers patrolling the streets of Thames Valley need to be more visible.

“I believe that wearing the custodian helmet not only increases visibility but also makes them more approachable and provides greater reassurance to the public.

“The custodian helmet is an iconic symbol of British policing, still used by a number of metropolitan police forces, and I am delighted that they will be returning to the streets of Thames Valley.”

Police say feedback to a trial-run in Reading has been "overwhelmingly positive".

Francis Habgood, Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, added: “We have carried out a limited trial on the use of custodian helmets in Reading and the feedback from both officers and the public has been resoundingly in favour of bringing them back.

"This is something that the Police and Crime Commissioner has been very supportive of and I can confirm that I have approved the initial order for new helmets.

“The helmets will be provided to male uniformed officers and will start to be rolled out over the coming months.”

The initial cost of the helmets will be "less than £30,000" but this will drop year on year as only new officers will need to be supplied with this element of their uniform.

Critics have said the cash would be better spent elsewhere.

TVP Federation chairman Craig O’Leary said the money would be better spent on health and welfare provision for officers.