Up until now the hipster look has not been welcome in France’s police force, but a trade union claims it has successfully changed the rules so officers can have beards and tattoos.
The rules around appearance clearly stated that having a beard was forbidden without special authorisation and the hairstyle must “be compatible with the wearing of headgear”.
According to France's Huffington Post a recent internal document reminded officers of the rules, which were aimed at cracking down on “radical” looks, especially among new recruits.
But a trade union has been fighting against the strict rules and this week claimed a victory.
(Spot the secret hipster!)
Force Ouvrière announced on Wednesday that from now on police can have tattoos as well as a beard “as long as it is well cropped”.
“After two years of negotiations and as a result of strong demand from across the force, the union SGP Police-FO has obtained permission for officers to have beards and tattoos,” a statement from the union said.
(A future Paris policeman?)
But police officers cannot just go out and get any old tattoo. There will of course be some restrictions.
“The tattoos must not be racist, political, religious or xenophobic. And as for the beard, it must be neat and compatible with the wearing of equipment.
“If we want the police force to be closer to the public, we need to adapt to changes in society and renew the rules, that date back to 1974,” Yves Lefebvre, national secretary of the union, told Les Echos.
“The beard must be neat and trimmed, we don’t want the kind of beard seen in the foreign legionnaires,” he said.
The famous “hipster cop” from London (see below) could soon be making an appearance in France.
— Guy Smallman (@GuySmallman) 9 Mai 2015