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The shortage of applicants has made the possible relaxation (and modernization) of rules a necessity
If you want to become a police officer in the German city of Hamburg, you’d better make sure that you have no visible tattoos on your arms, neck or head that couldn’t be covered by the uniform. Otherwise, you will be turned down for the job.
Things, however, may soon change, as the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, represented in the local parliament, has submitted a proposal to relax the strict rules and to start allowing more heavily inked police officers to work in the force.
Facing up to the modern reality
The reason stated by the party is two-fold. On the one hand, the number of applicants to become policemen and policewomen has been steadily declining over the years. Apart from the aesthetic requirements, candidates also face health requirements and sports fitness levels that are themselves high enough. That’s why, the politicians see that the best way to increase the pool of applicants would be to waive the “no visible tats” rule.
According to the CDU, it seems unfair to exclude candidates, who might have the right attitude and character just because they have an extra tattoo on their skin. Austria was given as an example, where regulations were relaxed in June.
The party has also received support from the regional association of the German Police Union. State police chief Thomas Jungfer welcomes the initiative. He says, as quoted by Tagesschau, that tattoos are no longer socially outlawed but are largely accepted. Symbols that glorify violence, discriminate or are unconstitutional should remain banned, though.
The other reason stated by the politicians echoes the thoughts of the police chief by explaining that tattoos have now become extremely common and mainstream in German society. It’s considered that about 25% of the population has at least one tattoo.
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