LONDON

- Scotland Yard has called in the fashion police.

Many British bobbys are tired of their foot-high helmets toppling off when they chase suspects.

The force has recruited students from the London College of Fashion, whose alumni includes shoemaker-for-the-stars Jimmy Choo, to help redesign the uniform for the 21st century, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Roberts said yesterday.

As part of the project, students will reassess the bell-shaped helmets, which are made of cork.

Members of the public, police officers and the Metropolitan Police Authority will be asked for their opinions on the new design, and 50 officers will test it.

Five other English police forces tested a new lower, plastic police helmet in 2004, but most beat officers still wear the domed bobby helmet.

"If you look at a lot of the police uniforms . . . they're so odd, the hats are horrible as well. I think a lot of the time when you see the police on the street they look terribly uncomfortable," said Julian Bennett from the British version of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." *

-Associated Press