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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-26-08

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


73% of Brits Approve of Tattooed Policemen

THE Police Federation announced earlier this month that their campaign for the acceptance of tattooed Officers has been met with success. The new appearance standards guidance; developed by the College of Policing and accepted as best practice, has been said by the Police Federation to "provide Officers and staff with clear direction on their appearance, so that they present a professional image while also being allowed some self expression."

Savoy Stewart, have delved deeper into the issue of tattooed Police Officers in the workplace using independent research, alongside reports from the Police Federation. Studies have revealed that 48% of serving Officers have a tattoo, 17% of which have a visible tattoo when in their uniform. However, Home Office guidance on tattoos is vague and open to interpretation, meaning that over recent years, guidelines on inked Officers have varied wildly across forces. A survey by Savoy Stewart has looked into how comfortable the public are with tattooed professionals across industries in order to see where Police Officers would appear on the list. The survey asked Brits the following question: How comfortable would you be with a person with a visible tattoo working in the following occupations?

Athlete 88% 12%
Chef 81% 19%
Police Officer 73% 27%
IT Technician 72% 28%
Estate Agent 69% 31%
Banker 63% 37%
Doctor 59% 41%
Judge 59% 41%
Nurse 57% 43%
Lawyer 57% 43%
Primary School Teacher 49% 51%
Political Figure 44% 56%
Air Hostess 42% 58%

The results showed that respondents were more comfortable seeing a tattooed Police Officer than a tattooed estate agent. This supports the Police Federation's own study, which demonstrated a similar level of acceptance, where 55% of fellow Officers felt comfortable working with a tattooed colleague.

Interestingly, the public seemed to be more uncomfortable seeing body modifications in female associated roles such as primary School Teachers (51% of respondents were uncomfortable with this), Air Hostesses (58%) and Nurses (43%). Indeed, according to this study by Savoy Stewart, British workers are more comfortable seeing a tattooed Politician (44% approval) than a tattooed Air Hostess (42%).

The study also revealed the characteristics we most associate with people who have tattoos. These included being rebellious, less intelligent, and unhealthy.

Although more and more of us are inking our bodies, this doesn't seem to be stopping employers from using this as a reason not to employ an individual, with 54% of hiring decision makers thinking that tattoos can have a negative impact on the workplace.

Currently in the UK 3 in 10, 25 to 39 year olds, have tattoos, which means a serious shrinking of the talent pool if an employer decides not choose a candidate with body art. This would be particularly troublesome to an already struggling Police Force.

Studies have shown that British women in particular would be affected, as they are more likely to be tattooed than men. Indeed, the Police Federation has demonstrated that 52% of female Officers have a tattoo compared with 47% of male Officers.

However, times maybe be changing, as proven by the new appearance standards guidelines by the College of Policing.

Some Officers have had their say on the issue:-

"We talk about more visibly resembling the communities we represent; but not when it comes to tattoos, why would that be?" said a Chief Inspector, male, 26 years' service.

"Very dependent on the tattoo, but heavily tattooed areas do make me feel uncomfortable." said a Sergeant, female, 25 years' service.

"If I was working with a colleague who had tattoos on their hands / neck / face then I would feel uncomfortable when dealing with some victims (particularly elderly) as they seem less tolerant of them than the younger generations." said a Constable, male, 12 years' service.

"Tattoos have no bearing on the professionalism of the Officer. To think or even question that would be discrimination." added a Constable, male, 13 years' service.

So what are your views on this topic?  Please email us to:- with your thoughts...


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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