Just wondering if anybody here has any experience on how various Police Forces, Garda, UK Police etc, treat applicants with a tattoo. I know most UK forces ask you to disclose info about your tattoo when you initially apply. I just wonder if this goes against you at the very start. I have a small, 3-4 inch long tattoo on the underside of my upper arm, all above the elbow. It's a shamrock with two words under it, "ar laoch", not offensive, it's a personal tribute to a friend of mine that passed away a few years back...
Any info/advice/experience is appreciated!
All the best!
In very general terms : UK Police policy is tatoos must not be oversized or likely to cause offence ( this means political or sexual type tatoos I guess ).
PSNI are extra careful as tatoos must not be possible to be construed as sectarian ( important to note that although you may consider a tatoo is not offensive does not mean others will have the same benign view ) . In your case a shamrock with gaelic writing may well give a wrong impression - at the very least you are identifying your community background. Also worth bearing in mind that even if a tatoo is normally covered it may be visible in changing rooms etc and this can be an issue if the ' neutral ' work environment is in place.
Bottom line is that it is hard to give a definite answer on tatoos as they like to keep their options open , for an English force ( not that any are recruiting ) I would say you would probably be OK.
Thanks Delancey, appreciate the feedback. I guess it's down to each force and their own views, I've seen cops in UK with Sleeve tattoos and that, mine's nothing like that, so I think I'd be alright in fairness. I've an uncle in the Gards and he's said that he doubts it would be a problem, considering by the stage that they see the tattoo, I'd already be in the medical and he knows plenty of Garda with tattoos. As long as I don't get covered I think I'm grand, the one will do me! Cheers!
I doubt it would be a problem anyway. There are a lot of Gardai with tattoos. As long as it's not Hangover II you'll be grand.
Cheers for the replies lads! Yeah It's a small shamrock, as long as I'm not policing a Celtic V Rangers match at some stage in my career while wearing a sleeveless top, I'd say I should be alright!
You hit the nail on the head with your mention of Rangers v Celtic , a tatoo you have described could well be a problem there. I would tend to think for AGS or a British force you would be alright.
PSNI would be an issue though I reckon.
Yeah I'd imagine it could be an issue for PSNI for sure, it's quite high up on the arm, as well as on the inside so it's quite well hidden unless the arm is raised in a short sleeve shirt... I wouldn't say it would be a deciding factor with any force anyway, but considering the lack of recruitment and the competition that exists nowadays for any police opportunity, the hiring force really do have their pick of the cream of the crop....
But surely you would wear long sleeves at the interview stages? Thats what i did. The medical people don't care about them. So they don't know you have tats til they see you first day in uniform and its too late then. I've nothing sectarian but i do have a good bit of work on my arms.
You must disclose tatoos at application stage - fail to do that and you make it very easy for them to terminate your application or employment. Generally tatoos are also checked at medical.
I would guarantee you that a political/sectarian tatoo would see a force like the PSNI send you packing when they discover it.