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POLICE

Police blow whistle on military salutes

Spain’s largest police union is campaigning against a resolution that will make “at your service” military greetings compulsory for lower ranking officers and also prohibit police officers from wearing earrings, having long hair or growing a beard.

Police blow whistle on military salutes
Police union SUP have suggested “good morning or good afternoon, sir” as more appropriate greetings than "at your service". Photo: Alex Dunham

Police Union SUP has asked Spain’s general directorate of police not to go forward with the motion, alleging that its “militaristic nature” does not apply to the police force.

The resolution, not yet approved by Spain’s main policing body, has been drafted in a bid to improved uniformity within the squad.

But SUP has argued that “at your service” greetings apply only to the army and have suggested “good morning or good afternoon, sir” as more appropriate salutations for the police force.

Spain’s police directorate has also drawn up clauses that prevent male officers from having hair long enough to cover the ears completely, or part of their shirt collar and combat jacket.

The police document also states: “in the case of beards, moustaches, goatees and sideburns, they will have to be well-groomed and cut. For security reasons, the beard or goatee must not cover the knot of the tie”

Female police officers would only be able to wear earrings when at full dress uniform occasions and as long as the jewellery is no bigger than their earlobes.

SUP have asked for the whole section on uniformity to be scrapped, arguing that “the police are a totally civilian grouping with no military character.”

“Policemen don’t need anyone to tell them how to dress or style their hair,” the union said. 

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POLICE

Spain’s Civil Guard police officers allowed to have visible tattoos

Spain on Monday relaxed its policy banning officers from the country's oldest police force, the Guardia Civil, from exhibiting tattoos.

civil guard spain gun
The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use. Photo: Rafa Rivas/AFP

Officers will now be allowed to display tattoos anywhere on their bodies “as long as they do not contain expressions that violate constitutional values or harm the discipline or image of the force,” the interior minister said in a statement.

“For the first time visible tattoos will be allowed on uniformed officers,” it added.

On the other hand, the decree prohibits hoop earrings, spikes, plugs and other inserts when they are visible in uniform, “except regular earrings, for both male and female personnel”.

The Guardia Civil mainly patrols and investigates crimes in rural areas, while Spain’s National Police focuses on urban areas.

Last year Spain’s leftist government appointed a woman to head the force for the first time in its 177-year history.

The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use.

Los Angeles police are required to ensure that tattoos are not visible to the public while on-duty, while France’s Gendarmes police force also requires that they be covered.

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