Police recruits to Britain's largest force were banned yesterday from having visible tattoos in a sweeping reform of its public image.
Scotland Yard Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said body art that can be seen by the public 'damages the professional image' of the service.Really? According to whom? Have you ever been asked, or polled?
No. Me neither.
And he ordered a 'tattoo amnesty' in which anyone who already has marks on their hands, neck or face must declare them within weeks or be sacked.Ummm, if they are visible, don't they already count as 'declaring themselves'?
But rank-and-file representatives claim associating tattoos with criminals is old-fashioned and police should reflect the public they serve.Well, quite! Just try Googling the phrase and see what you get! It drips from the lips of politician and union member, pressure group leader and civil servant alike.
'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.'Why can't their line managers just look at their staff and note down the tattoos? Are they all blind? Or is that a loaded question right at the moment?
Met officers have already questioned how officers from islands in the South Pacific where cultural tattoos are common will be affected.Do we get a lot of those, then? I suppose we would if the top brass thought it would help their diversity scores!
And they highlighted that many servicemen may find they are unable to join the police after leaving the Armed Forces.Ah, now, I suspect that's not something that'll worry Bernie and his cronies - in fact, the useless top brass probably consider it an advantage, preferring straight-out-of-university, easily-moulded footsoldiers!
Of course, if Bernie was really worried about public image he'd just make sure all his Taser-wielding officers had gone to Specsavers...