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Police officers being banned from having visible tattoos

An email to 2GB’s Luke Bona

Good morning Luke,

About this story which popped up over the weekend about a new regulation for the New South Wales police to not have visible tattoos. I think it’s a good idea and about time.

The police are there not only to uphold the law, but to appear to uphold the law and appear to be upstanding and exemplary citizens. They should be the antithesis of, for example, bikie gangs, in appearance and behaviour. Having large tattoos sends the wrong message about the police officer.

In many ways, this is just a logical extension of the uniform which is designed to provide a certain image of police officers, and assist with enforcing discipline. If someone wants to have a tattoo and be a police officer, then they should have the discipline and common sense to have a tattoo which can be covered up by normal clothing.

As for the opposition’s opposition to this measure. This measure is clearly part of a much larger reorginisation of the police force, and wouldn’t be necessary if the previous Labor governments had done their job and given the police the support and resources they need. I put a lot of the blame for the current string of drive-by shootings at the feet of the Labor governments who did not provide the police with the necessary resources to prevent things from reaching this point.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

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#1 Comment By John Moulis On January 30, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

This might cause a few legal problems for the NSW Police Force and Barry O’Farrell’s government. The NSW Anti-Discrimination Act was amended several years ago to include “Discrimination based on personal appearance”. Tattoos are part of someone’s personal appearance. If the Force goes ahead with this proposal, the Anti-Discrimination Act would have to be amended and I can’t see The Greens in the upper house letting that through.

#2 Comment By Samuel On January 30, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

Hmmm, that’s a good point. How wonderful it must be to be in a government which is held hostage by the Greens. If the Liberal/National coalition can get the Shooters and Fishers Party as well as the Christian Democratic Party on-side, they would be able to amend the Anti-Discrimination Act, but I’d imagine that might be just as difficult as convincing the Greens.