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
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?
Primary School Teacher
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
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
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
So what are your views on this topic? Please email us to:-
News24@SouthportReporter.com with your thoughts...