The Interior Ministry has launched a crackdown to combat the trend toward shrinking hemlines witnessed among Russia's female police officers, Izvestia reported Monday.
The ministry imposed a ban against all uniform modifications in response to the growing number of shortened skirts worn by women, and the tendency of their male counterparts to hack off their shirt sleeves.
In addition to modifications, police are now prohibited from mixing their uniforms with civilian clothing, and from wearing wrinkled items, Izvestia reported, citing a decree handed down by Deputy Interior Minister Sergei Gerasimov to all heads of departments.
Gerasimov warned that such liberties taken with police uniforms only serve to undermine the authority of the Interior Ministry, and to discredit the police force as a whole.
"When you meet people, the first thing you see is their clothing, and for a police officer fulfilling his duties, it is crucial to have a tidy and neat appearance. From time to time, we have seen instances of officers improperly wearing their uniforms. … Heads [of departments] must pay more attention to the appearance of their subordinates," Gerasimov was quoted by Izvestia as having said in the decree.
Gerasimov encouraged all police officers to reacquaint themselves with and strictly adhere to uniform requirements, and ordered department heads to inspect officer attire before the start of shifts each day.
Mikhail Pashkin, chairman of the coordination council of the police officers' union, said in comments to Izvestia that police officers were not to blame for untidy clothing. The complaints listed by Gerasimov stemmed from the failure of the Interior Ministry to provide enough dressing rooms for police.
As for the problem of female officers shortening their skirts, Pashkin said he did not see any reason to complain.
"Perhaps the girls want to get married. Incidentally, they are thinking about the demographic situation," Pashkin said.