Met Police purchase 'The Bill' costumes
Monday, October 18 2010, 09:05 BST
By Andrew Laughlin,

Uniforms used in ITV's long-running drama The Bill have been purchased by the Metropolitan Police to stop them being acquired by criminals.

A spokesman for the London force confirmed that 400kg of clothing had been bought due to fears that people could use the items to pose as police.

Shirts, trousers and pullovers were all purchased, along with 29 body armour covers, 28 high visibility jackets, four inspector Flat Caps and 22 constable bowler hats.

The spokesman would not disclose how much the acquisition had cost, but did say that any unused items would be re-issued to serving officers.

In August, The Bill came to an end on ITV after 2,400 episodes and 26 years on air, with the final episode being watched by 4.4 million viewers.

The show had been given permission by Scotland Yard to dress its actors in genuine uniforms and equipment featuring the London force's crest.

"When the announcement was made that The Bill was to cease production, the Metropolitan Police approached the production company with a view to acquiring all used and unused items of clothing and uniform," said the Met Police spokesman.

"The purpose of this approach was to ensure that Metropolitan Police uniforms did not enter the public domain and give rise to the potential use by unauthorised persons in the commission of criminal activities."