French cops now allowed to unleash hidden hipster

French police will now be able to reveal their inner hipster to the public after police chiefs changed the rules to allow them to grow beards and have tattoos.

French cops now allowed to unleash hidden hipster
Will French police now let loose their inner hipster? Photo: AFP

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.



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Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”