Police 'to make officers wear beard nets'

Barefaced cheek of Gloucestershire police's new uniform policy that gives advice on facial hair, visible tattoos and make-up

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The Independent Online

Hirsute Gloucestershire policemen could soon be made to wear beard nets or go clean shaven, under new dress code rules.

The new uniform policy also encourages officers to cover visible tattoos and urges female police officers to wear minimal makeup.

The new requirments appear to have sparked some complaints among the officers.

An article about the new regulation on The Times website quotes a source as telling the paper: "Some of the female PCs have been wearing so much bronzer that they look like the Tango man. But the blokes will just look silly walking around with a big net on their face."

Whie the new requirements appear to be starkly worded, when contacted Gloucestershire Constabulary insisted a "common sense approach" would be adopted.

A statement said: "The policy is intended to provide guidance to managers and staff, it does not replace the need for discussion with the individuals concerned."

Britain's regional police forces are each subject to their own dress codes.

In London, the Metropolitan police's dress code outlines the main principles saying that "dress should be smart, fit for purpose and portray a favourable impression of the Service", but makes no formal restrictions on beards.

In May images of a Met policeman sporting a well-groomed beard and waxed moustache went viral with the officer labelled as the "hipster cop".

The officer was photographed while policing in Walthamstow where members of the English Defence League clashed with anti-fascist protesters.