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Malta takes a vote: should our Police Force be able to sport tattoos and beards?

The official Facebook page of the Malta Police Force asked social media users their opinion on whether officers should be allowed to ‘sport tattoos and facial hair’.

Just as comments and votes started flooding in, the poll was removed after about 15 minutes.

However, in its short time on social media, it garnered an impressive 600 votes, with about 82% voting ‘yes they should be allowed’ and 18% saying they shouldn’t.

The ban on police recruits bearing any visible tattoos was first introduced in 2012 and still applies today.

According to eligibility requirements, recruits ‘having heavy visible tattoos/body piercings will not be considered’; this means that recruits with tattoos on their legs, arms, wrists or neck are not allowed to join the police force.

Recruits ‘having other tattoos’ are considered on a case-by-case basis. At the time of the introduction of the ban, an online poll found that 66% were against having police officers with visible tattoos.

The law doesn’t just apply to Malta; new recruits to the police force in the UK must provide pictures of all tattoos on their body, whether visible or not.

However, amidst controversy and debate, the metropolitan police service in the UK has recently reversed a decision to ban officers from having their tattoos on show whilst on duty.

In its short stint on Facebook, comments about the poll were mostly in agreement that police officers should be allowed to have visible tattoos and facial hair; some pointed out that this will not impede with their duties in any way, whilst others argued that this law is simply outdated and needs to be changed.

However, other comments on the post, albeit fewer, disagreed with officers having visible tattoos and facial hair, insisting that a police officer with tattoos might not be taken seriously enough.

Let us know what you think about this in the comments.