West Midlands Police Tattoo Policy 2023 (Can You Have Tattoos?)

Tattoos have become a popular form of self-expression, and many of us, in fact, a large section of us, sport some ink these days. But what happens if you want to join the police force in the West Midlands?

Does the West Midlands Police Tattoo Policy state that ink is a big no-no, or is there some flexibility in the rules?

So, if you’re thinking about a career in law enforcement in this particular zone, or if you’re just curious about what the West Midlands Police have to say about tattoos, stick around.

Can You Have Tattoos in the West Midlands Police?

Like many other police departments in the UK, the West Midlands Police have moved on with the times and allow its officers tattoos under certain conditions.

There are regulations in place both when it comes to the placement and the content of your tattoos.

Tattoo Placement Guidelines

First, let’s take a look at the current guidelines on tattoo placement.

When it comes to placement, the only areas that are prohibited at all costs and under any circumstances are the front of the neck and the face.

The so-called gray areas include body parts that are not always covered by the police uniform – arms, hands, and neck. In such cases, you will have to submit photos of your tattoos and they’ll be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Tattoos that are easily hidden by the uniform, as long as they are appropriate in nature, are allowed in unlimited numbers.

Tattoo Content Guidelines

But how about the content of your tattoos? Are you good to go as long as the placement requirements are met?

Far from it.

Quoting the official West Midlands Tattoo Policy:

(…) anyone who has a tattoo and/or piercing which could be reasonably interpreted as offensive to any religion or belief, or is in any way discriminatory, violent or intimidating, will not be accepted. 


To put it in more detail, you’re not allowed tattoos that:

  • undermine a police constable’s dignity and authority
  • are incompatible with West Midlands Police values
  • could cause offense to members of the public or colleagues and/or invite provocation
  • indicate unacceptable attitudes towards any gender, minority groups, or any other section of the community

Are There Many UK Police Officers with Tattoos?

You might be surprised to learn that tattoos have been making their mark in the world of UK policing. Just like in the rest of society, tattoos are becoming more common among law enforcement officers.

So, if you’ve ever wondered whether those who protect and serve can also rock some ink, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

In recent years, the attitudes towards tattoos in the police force have been evolving. Tattoos have gone from being seen as taboo to being embraced as a part of modern life. Police officers are people, after all, and they have interests, hobbies, and stories to tell just like the rest of us.

The increase in tattooed officers is partly due to changing societal norms. Tattoos are now widely accepted and have shed much of their old associations with rebellion or delinquency. Today, they’re seen as a form of self-expression and artistry.

However, it’s important to note that while many police forces across the UK have become more lenient when it comes to tattoos, there can still be guidelines and policies in place. These policies vary from one force to another and may dictate the size, location, and content of tattoos. Some forces might even require officers to cover their tattoos while on duty.

The West Midlands Police, like many other police forces in the UK, has had to adapt to these changing times.

West Midlands Tattoo Policy – Be Honest or Lie?

When it comes to applying for a position with the West Midlands Police and having visible tattoos, a question may cross your mind: Should you be upfront and honest about your ink, or is it better to keep it under wraps during the application process?

Honesty is usually the best policy, even when it comes to tattoos. Here’s why:

1. Trust and Integrity: Police departments value trust and integrity above all else. Lying about your tattoos during the application process can damage your credibility and trustworthiness right from the start. Remember, law enforcement is about upholding the law, and lying is a breach of that principle.

2. Background Checks: Police departments conduct thorough background checks on applicants. If you lie about your tattoos and those tattoos are discovered during the investigation, it could jeopardize your chances of getting hired or lead to your dismissal if you’ve already been hired.

3. Changing Attitudes: As we’ve discussed, attitudes toward tattoos are evolving. Many police departments, including the West Midlands Police, are becoming more accepting of visible tattoos. Your honesty about your tattoos may not necessarily disqualify you. In fact, it could demonstrate your transparency and willingness to adhere to department policies.

4. Policy Clarification: By being honest about your tattoos, you can seek clarification on the specific tattoo policy of the department you’re applying to. This ensures you understand their expectations and can make an informed decision about whether the department is the right fit for you.

In the end, the West Midlands Police tattoo policy is there for a reason and it’s best to be truthful about your tattoos during the application process. It’s a step toward building trust and aligning yourself with the values of the department.

Plus, it gives you a chance to open a dialogue about any concerns or questions you may have about their tattoo policy, ultimately helping you make an informed decision about your law enforcement career.