National Police officers are now dressing by the book

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VISIBLE body piercings and “outlandish or extravagant ” hairstyles, makeup and accessories are vetoed for Policia Nacional officers.

The ban is included in a 121-article draft of new regulations regarding dress, personal hygiene and conduct for on-duty police.

Officers should not adopt “an indolent bearing that departs from the decorum appropriate to the dignity of their post,” says the draft’s article 37, which also bans drinking on duty.

Two-day beards are not allowed while moustaches or goatees must be “perfectly groomed” and at no time reach the knot of an officer’s tie “for safety reasons.”

Also banned are jewellery or “the accessories known as piercings or similar” when these can be seen by the public.

As well as a ban on bizarre hairstyles for both sexes, women officers with long hair are told to wear it tied back in a ponytail reaching no further than the shoulders.

During pregnancy they may wear civilian clothes after the third month if recommended by their doctor.

Officers must observe “police courtesy” by saluting before addressing a member of public.

Failure to do so, together with deliberately omitting to salute a superior, is punishable by sanctions ranging from a reprimand to four days suspension without pay.

Batons should always be carried “in a natural manner” with the left arm extended and supported by the hand “with an open fist.” A quick poll amongst the public regarding the new rules produced varying results.

“I don’t care how they dress. They just need to do their job properly,” argued pensioner Andrés Gonzalez. In contrast, Laura Ripoll was in favour of spruce policemen. “Personally, I can’t take one seriously if he dresses or does his hair like a slob,” she said.

By Linda Hall

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