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Cops and tats don’t mix, says justice minister

14:29 22/02/2018

Federal justice minister Jan Jambon has said that he would like to see stricter rules concerning tattoos on police officers. “Agents have to be neutral,” he told De Standaard.

Jambon said that he wasn’t looking to bar police officers from having tattoos but that they should never be visible to the public. An officer could choose to wear long sleeves, for instance, if the tattoo was on an arm.

“Imagine if an officer is sporting the logo of RSC Anderlecht on his arm,” said Jambon spokesperson Olivier Van Raemdonck, “and he’s sent to the Club Brugge stadium to maintain order. That could cause trouble among hot-headed supporters.”

There is no formal policy regarding tattoos among Belgian police officers, though officers report that in the past they were rejected early in the process by the medical examiner if they had any tattoos. That appears to no longer be the case.

Any policy change has to be run by the unions, but the one contacted by De Standaard was less than enthusiastic. “For 10 years, officers have been able to do this, without any regulation. Changing it now would be very difficult.”

Written by Lisa Bradshaw