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Metropolitan Police commissioner bans 'unprofessional' tattoos

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Met commissioner bans 'unprofessional' visible tattoos - Telegraph

The Met has, in recent years, been pretty strict on tattoos they deem to be racist or potentially inflammatory (I think that may even include things like a st. george's cross or union jack). I gather potential recruits had to send in photographs at one stage for evaluation.

Now the commissioner seems to have banned outright tattoos on hands, face and neck as 'unprofessional'. Members of staff who already have them have to register them with their line manager or will be regarded as having committed misconduct.

Smacks of cracking a nut with a sledgehammer, surely? I'd be willing to bet that there are a fair few P.Cs in the Met (perhaps mostly female) who have small visible tattoos on the back of the neck, behind the ear, on the wrist, but I would be surprised if that many UK coppers have the type of hand and neck tattoos that probably spring to mind as we think of them on LST. Actually, if that's an incorrect assumption on my part and any London members can tell me otherwise I'd be interested to hear about it!

Over here the rule of thumb is that if you have 'visible tattoos' such as a sleeve then a police officer will probably find themselves simply wearing long sleeves all the year around. What to do with something which cannot be covered easily is a trickier issue. I'll be interested to see how they eventually deal with the Met staff who do register these 'visible' hand, neck and face tattoos. Will that be the end of it, or will they be drummed out or into back-office roles?

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From what I've been hearing, similar rules are being implemented all over the place. I know I heard something about the US military cracking down hard on tattoos as well.

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Cops? i thought it was only the robbers that had tattoos.

How am i to distinguish now.

"Sympathy for the Devil" excerpt... "every cop is a criminal"....

Probably the cops have better tattoos maybe?

Rob

CultExciter likes this

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I assumed that visible (hand, neck, face) tattoos had always been a no no for police officers, guess i was wrong.

Edit: Looking at the article, i do find it odd that they list union jacks and panthers as tattoos that have led to applicants being rejected. What the hell is so terrible about a panther?

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Wonder what the big impetus behind this stuff is, always seems to pop up every year or two (be it in the US, UK, etc..). Not surprising they don't want cops with neck tattoos but seems like there must be another catalyst to make such a stink about it.

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Something like this had gone down in Australia recently. Still see lots of cops with tattoos though.

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Wonder what the big impetus behind this stuff is, always seems to pop up every year or two (be it in the US, UK, etc..). Not surprising they don't want cops with neck tattoos but seems like there must be another catalyst to make such a stink about it.

someone complained. squeaky wheel, gets the oil type of shit usually

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Wonder what the big impetus behind this stuff is, always seems to pop up every year or two (be it in the US, UK, etc..). Not surprising they don't want cops with neck tattoos but seems like there must be another catalyst to make such a stink about it.

Budget cuts. Police departments in the UK had something like 20% of their budgets cut, so I am guessing that a stricter policy on tattoos could potentially force people out of the police? Though I can't believe that there are so many cops with hand, neck, and face tattoos that it would actually make that much of a difference.

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Budget cuts. Police departments in the UK had something like 20% of their budgets cut' date=' so I am guessing that a stricter policy on tattoos could potentially force people out of the police? Though I can't believe that there are so many cops with hand, neck, and face tattoos that it would actually make that much of a difference.[/quote']

I heard that's the same reason or one of the reasons they got strict on military in the USA. Its easy yo push people out when it's hard to change the reason they're getting the boot for.

gougetheeyes likes this

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Funny, I can't ever think of seeing a local cop with a visible tattoo. I know that the US military isn't great about inductees coming in inked either.

Rob

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Phoenix, Arizona recently put out a concealment policy. Every officer with visible tattoos need them covered while at work..... That means wearing long sleeves in 110+ heat.

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Funny, I can't ever think of seeing a local cop with a visible tattoo. I know that the US military isn't great about inductees coming in inked either.

Rob

Last time I was in NYC I saw a cop with a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man sleeve. This was in the Upper West Side. There seemed to be a lot of cops with visible tattoos.

slayer9019 likes this

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A cop in the neighborhood next to mine has a forearm tattoo. He wears short sleeve shirts and it doesn't seem to be an issue, but I live in New Hampshire where our state motto is "live free or die".

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Funny, I can't ever think of seeing a local cop with a visible tattoo. I know that the US military isn't great about inductees coming in inked either.

Rob

Come down the Newark, NJ and the surrounding towns. We got plenty of tattooed cops. Hell I've seen a small hand tattoo and neck tattoo before. Cities (especially ones that are a bit rougher) seem to be OK with them. Funny thing is where I live now is one of the most expensive towns in NJ and we have at least 2 fully sleeved cops.

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New Brunswick has at least 4 cops with visible tattoos, and I only know the day shift fellas.

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Another' date=' somewhat related, news story:

HMV, banning tattoos on staff won't increase your sales | Business | The Guardian

It's completely mental to think that prohibiting visible tattoos will do anything whatsoever to halt the decline of retail non-specialist record stores.

A long time ago I worked for a large music store and they told me to cover up what few tattoos I had at 19 and to wear my hair down to hide my very small stretched earlobes. A few years later you would see sleeves on most of the staff and much more extreme large gauge lobes/ piercings etc and I guess it's now going back full circle.

Also had friends who worked at American apparel not long ago and were told in meetings to stop hiring tattooed staff cos they wanted a different clientele and image for the brand. And that is what it comes down to. The big guys up top choose what 'look' they want to portray and sell and just like fashion that is gonna change when it suits and right now I guess this is the beginning of customers who thought it'd be rad to get their first tattoos on their hands or behind their ear ( but really, it's so large it's a neck tattoo) to realise that life ain't fair and just cos you can do the job don't mean you will get hired over some plain Jane without tattoos.

Trying to reply to this coherently on n iPhone is hard but you get the gist. Sorry!

Graeme likes this

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I tattoo a fair number of police men & women. Most of them with large-scale work (read: bigger than half-sleeve)

All if them are sensible enough to know not to get visible tattoos. They also understand that tattoos are for outcasts and outcast tendencies are best hidden from the powers that be.

If you wanna be an outlaw, don't be a lawman.

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Also had friends who worked at American apparel not long ago and were told in meetings to stop hiring tattooed staff cos they wanted a different clientele and image for the brand. And that is what it comes down to. The big guys up top choose what 'look' they want to portray and sell and just like fashion that is gonna change when it suits and right now I guess this is the beginning of customers who thought it'd be rad to get their first tattoos on their hands or behind their ear ( but really, it's so large it's a neck tattoo) to realise that life ain't fair and just cos you can do the job don't mean you will get hired over some plain Jane without tattoos.

Yup, all that right there.

As an aside, "Zombie Boy" used to live in my neighborhood and I'd see him around all the time. I called him Skullface. I didn't see him for a while and I wondered what happened to him I kind of assumed that somebody who got his face tattooed to look like a skull probably wasn't planning on living to a ripe old age. Then he appeared in a Lady Gaga video and became a local celebrity. Glad to see he's doing well because he's apparently a nice guy.

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@abees

Thought Curly was really good, I don't think the presenter expected him to be as frank as he was about the problems (for most people) around getting tattooed below the shirt-line, doing hands, face, neck etc.

If you're policing then the reality is that, as Stewart alludes to, you do not get visible tattoos or display any kind of heavy coverage unless you want to find your chances of promotion and movement within the job coming to a grinding halt. In fairness, it's not just marking yourself out by displaying the fact that you're tattooed heavily that will do that: There's ample ways to rule yourself out of contention (Go sick too often or for too long... Go sick with the wrong thing, such as a mental health issue... Have or make a bullying complaint... Be see to accrue too many complaints against you..etc).

That said, while policing as a concept is conservative in terms of its social function (and in the way it is managed) there are a lot of people in the ranks who are there because it is an unconventional job in many ways. The irregular hours are the antithesis of 9-to-5, and the work itself can be either mind-numbingly boring or interesting and dangerous one night to the next. You find jobsworths who are there for the pension, but you'll also find people who are risk-takers and eccentrics by any measuring stick.

When I joined up there as a small number of guys floating around in the job who had forearm tattoos, usually quite old-school, daggers and crawling panthers. These were guys who had transferred in from the Irish army or prison service. The attitude was that they got a free pass from management as far as the tattoos went. I don't think it would fly today, they'd be in long-sleeves like the rest of us.

abees likes this

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