Sunday, 2 August 2009

Showing Off

I was at training school with a fella who was mightily pissed off with the job policy at the time about tattoos. He had to have one removed from his left bicep before they would let him join and it left a horrible scar, like a burn. Obviously I never saw the original design, but he assured me it wasn't anything outrageous. You can imagine how he felt on turning up for training to find various ex forces recruits with their tatts on show. There was at the time an exemption for ex military, as it was generally accepted to be the norm coming from that background.

I'm relieved that I never got the swallow put onto my neck that I intended or the the W on each buttock. Since knowing I was accepted I curtailed my urge to add more, and complied with the cover up policy of the time. In fact I'm the least tattooed in my immediate family and I've got two sisters. My dear old mum is of course excluded from art work as she's perfect already, and the old man served in Malaya so say no more.

All the youngsters at work are covered in tattoos, including the girls. I can just imagine the sight on the geriatric wards in 50 years time as the old girls shuffle around in those hospital gowns with a natty bit of artwork hanging over their backsides in rolls of fat.

Does it really matter if you have an armful of ink on display? It depends if people want to judge you I suppose. As long as there is nothing political or offensive I think not.

I do quite like that programme Miami Ink and the personal stories behind the tattoos. I would love to see some of the one's that have got people rejected from joining the police. I found this link to some of the most stupid tattoos compiled. What were they thinking of?


Anonymous said...

I think there is a good "uniformity" argument as well as many people still regard tattoos as a bit - how shall we say it - unprofessional?

That said the rules don't seem very clear. One of my SC colleagues was allowed in to the USC with a particular tattoo but won't be allowed to join up full time unless she removes it. How does that make sense?

MarkUK said...

Large or offensive tats that can be seen when in uniform should be barred, but a small, discrete tattoo should be no bar to police employment.

Tats are now very common, particularly on women under 35. If the police are "of the public", then they should be able to acommodate a few tattoos.

It seems tats were not a problem for the highest in the land. Many of our monarchs and consorts (e.g. Prince Albert and particularly "Sailor" George V) had them.

If tattoos were so frowned upon, or just banned on grounds of uniformity, how could an exception be made for ex-forces as the same arguments apply?

Stressed Out Cop said...


What was the design? and where was it?


I suppose if a Maori applied with a full facial set that might be viewed diffently.

Every case on it's merits must be the policy. Not sure about Albert's piercings though

It was generally accepted that ex military would have them. I would be interested to know if any visible Iraq or Afghanistan ones are now barred as likely to be offensive to some.