Brown Upbraids UK Public for Taunting Troops

PM irked that some personnel advised not to wear uniform off base
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 7, 2008 5:34 PM CST
A member of the military walks into a military recruitment center in Peterborough, England, Friday March 7, 2008. Commanders of a nearby British air base have advised personnel not to wear their uniforms...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – After reports that officers in Britain's Royal Air Force advised members against wearing uniforms in public, Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged troops to show their colors, the Telegraph reports—and chastised citizens for the verbal abuse that prompted the guidelines. Brown said troops should “have the respect and gratitude of the British people” and police should work to stop any abuse.

A commander in east-central Cambridgeshire had said uniforms shouldn’t be worn off-duty after reviewing incidents of abuse from a “cross-section” of the community, thought to be linked to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A defense official called such instances unusual, noting that many Britons would be shocked that  “there are no-go areas for our Armed Forces, even in their own country.”