Force to stick with present policy on tattoos
THE Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset police has no plans to lay down the law on officers who have tattoos.
Yesterday, the commissioner of London's Metropolitan police, Bernard Hogan-Howe, made national headlines for banning his officers from showing tattoos of any kind, while ordering them to register existing ones in a tattoo amnesty.
Avon and Somerset's chief Colin Port told the Post a policy was already in place for certain types of tattoos, and had been for a number of years.
"Any tattoos that could be perceived as being offensive should be covered up," Mr Port said.
He also asks officers to wear long sleeves if they have tattoos on their forearms, but felt he did not need to take any more action on tattoos in general.
"All visible tattoos damage the professional image of the Metropolitan Police Service," Mr Hogan-Howe told 52,000 staff and officers.
"With effect from the date of this announcement, tattoos on the face, or visible above a collar line, or on the hands are not permitted. All other tattoos must be covered.
"It will be a requirement, by the commissioner, that all officers and police staff with existing tattoos defined as 'visible' must register such tattoos as a formal written declaration to their line manager before November 12.
"Any officer or member of police staff who fails, without reasonable excuse, to declare and register an existing visible tattoo will be liable to disciplinary action. Such a failure is liable to be considered to be gross misconduct."