These are the strict rules on visible tattoos for Lancashire police officers

If you have a lot of visible tattoos, they can prove to be something of an issue in some lines of work, with many employers requiring them to be hidden at all times.

Tuesday, 4th June 2019, 2:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th June 2019, 3:31 pm
Having a tattoo will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a police officer in Lancashire

Police forces in particular have traditionally been very strict on their policies about visible tattoos, but last year saw the Metropolitan Police relax their rules in a bid to attract more recruits.

Previously officers were not allowed any visible tattoos, resulting in the rejection of around 13,000 applicants who applied in the last financial year.

The new rules now allow recruits with visible tattoos to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, rather than being automatically rejected, although, facial tattoos still remain banned.

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Having a tattoo will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a police officer in Lancashire

But what are the rules in Lancashire?

A case by case basis

According to Lancashire Constabulary guidance, having a tattoo will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a police officer.

The guidance states that if you have any tattoos, you will need to declare these on your application form.

If you have any tattoos, you will need to declare these on your application form

Applicants are asked to submit two photos of each tattoo to show the location and nature of each, along with their application.

Officers will then assess the tattoo(s) against their standards.

Any tattoos which are 'particularly prominent, offensive or undermine the dignity and authority of your role are unacceptable'.

The guidance also applies to facial piercings, with each case considered individually on its own merits.

Those who have tattoos which are visible on their forearms, or in an open collared shirt of short sleeves, may be required to cover them up if they are in a public facing role.

Similar restrictions

Policies on covering visible tattoos are not limited to Lancashire, with budding Army recruits facing similar restrictions.

If you have a tattoo which is offensive, obscene or racist, it will prevent you from joining the Army.

Small tattoos that are not offensive in any way are generally not a problem, although this does depend on where they are on your body and how visible they are.

The Army has the following rules regarding tattoos:

- If your tattoo is visible on a passport photo it will be deemed unacceptable

- Tattoos that are offensive or obscene, i.e. those that depict sex acts, violence or illegal drugs, for example, are not allowed

- Tattoos on the hand and the back of the neck are now acceptable. However, most soldiers keep their saluting hand clean out of respect

- Tattoos on the head and face are unacceptable

The Army also has some restrictions on body piercings that could prevent you from joining, such as those which change the way you look, like a 4mm flesh tunnel or larger.

Similarly, nurses and firefighters may can also be faced with such restrictions, with some being required to cover visible tattoos, such as those on the forearms. However, this can vary by employer.