Thin blue lines that won’t be tolerated in the force

ANYONE considering a career in the NSW Police Force may have to think twice before getting themselves a tattoo or piercing.

NSW Police has unveiled a body art and modification policy, designed to uphold community standards and maintain the organisation’s professional image.

The new guidelines were developed after consultation with the Police Association of NSW and the Public Service Association.

The new policy prohibits body art and modification on the hands, face, scalp, ears or neck, and regardless of the location, body art or modifications will also be prohibited if deemed offensive.

This includes references to illegal gangs, criminal behaviour, racism, graphically sexual images and/or slogans that are racial, religious, homophobic or sexually vilifying in nature.

Anyone seeking employment with the NSWPF in the future will need to meet the new body art and modification standards.

Assistant Commissioner Human Resources Carlene York said the policy reflected what would be acceptable to a reasonable person.

“It is about maintaining professional standards and living up to the expectations of the community we serve, while recognising the changing attitudes of some in that community,” Assistant Commissioner York said.

“We have outlined both prohibited places and prohibited forms, but the policy provides some flexibility. 

“For instance, if an employee had a non-prohibited tattoo, our normal dress codes apply.

“If there was an official police function, that officer’s commander could exercise some discretion as to whether that tattoo may be covered up.”

She said the reasonable person test applies.

The new policy came into effect on November 29.

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