Police Federation

The 3rd Generation Body Armour

The launch of the 3rd generation of standard issue police body armour has seen significant improvement over the current offering. The tender process was competitive and from nine submissions two successful bids were awarded to Cooneen Protection and Safariland UK under NUMS.

The Body Armour Matters campaign builds on the work of our pervious Back to Basics campaign which sought to raise awareness of the risks that body armour poses if the wearer does not wear it appropriately and look after their core.

The new body armour is lighter in weight, but the lessons offered via Back to Basics campaign, and the issues raised therein, are still relevant and should be considered.

Useful material from Back to Basics campaign can be found here:

Back Education (The Ben Fund)

Fit for Purpose (Flint House)

Our work with Flint House

Physiotherapy at the Ben Fund

Body Armour (Police Treatment Centres)


Advances in the new 3rd generation body armour

Significant increase in Supplementary Knife Resistance (SKR) or extra protection:

SKR is a crucial aspect of body armour and the strength, or resistance of SKR, must conform with rigorous Home Office standards as set out in the HOSDB Body Armour Standards for UK Police.


Both Safariland and Cooneen 3rd generation armour were tested against the HOSDB requirements for:

  • Kinfe Impact
  • Knife Tip Resistance
  • And Benefit of design to SKR

The protection afforded by Cooneen Protection integrated extra area protection for the wearer for male and female designs by between 10 to 27 per cent.  

The purpose of the extra protection is to enhance overall coverage and protection, meaning less exposed areas of vulnerability whilst not losing on comfort or adding weight.


Gender Based Design options:

Both suppliers provide solutions that acknowledge gender differences.

Safariland UK provides a single shaped variant that is gender contoured while Cooneen Protection’s armour is available in both male and female variants.

Other design considerations that have improved include:

  • Use of endurance fabric that is highly durable
  • Machine washable
  • Highly abrasion resistant
  • High tear strength
  • Stretch fabric for comfort
  • Cooling ventilation systems to aid with temperature regulation


Weight of the New Armour:

Both Cooneen Protection and Safariland UK body armours are lighter in weight than the current armour.

Supplier and Model  Current Armour Cooneen Protection Safariland UK
Median Male with SKR 3.73kg 3.46kg 3.48kg
Median Female with SKR 3.05kg 2.83kg 3.12kg
Median Male without SKR 3.73kg 3.14kg 3.06kg
Median Female without SKR 3.05kg 2.56kg 2.70k


Overview of technical specifications:

  • As part of the Home Office Standard 2017 and national specification, innovation was sought in the body armour design to provide the wearer with Supplementary Knife Resistance (SKR).
  • The solutions were tested, evaluated and scored against the published methods for: knife impact, knife tip resistance and benefit of design to SKR.
  • The Cooneen armour has been designed with integrated supplementary knife resistance (SKR) to body areas not traditionally protected by Patrol Officer Vests. The areas protected by the supplementary armour (SKR) offers a knife resistance of up to 12 Joules without decreasing the comfort to the officer. This was tested and verified through independent testing as part of the NUMS tender process.
  • The overall objective for addition of SKR protection is to enhance the overall coverage and protection to the officer reducing the vulnerable areas whilst not compromising on comfort.


The following design variations have been approved: 










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