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Think first then dial

Changes to how our police will look

07 Mar 2023 7:31am

South Australia Police officers may look a little different in the future as Commissioner of Police Grant Stevens has approved changes to dress standards.

Changes mean police officers will be able to have visible, non-offensive tattoos, and hair standards will no longer be gender specific.

“SAPOL is aligning its standards to be a reflection of the community it serves. These changes are a major shift in our organisational culture,” Commissioner Stevens said.

“All uniformed employees will be able have longer hair if they choose; however, the hair must still be worn appropriately at the rear of the head so as to comply with health and safety requirements. Visible non-offensive tattoos can also now be displayed but they cannot be on the ears, face, head, scalp, front or sides of the neck.

“These changes could remove a barrier for some of those applicants who may have not previously considered SAPOL as a career because they wanted to retain their longer hair or were concerned about having to cover up their tattoos.”

To ensure the community was comfortable with these changes, SAPOL conducted public and organisational research to determine sentiment to proposed move.

“This is not about lowering standards but more so balancing dress standard policies to reflect societal change. The professional look of police officers will not be impacted, as this is not a free for all approach to hair styles or tattoos.”

Minister for Police Joe Szakacs welcomed the changes to the look of police officers.

“This change reflects the shifting community sentiment around tattoos and overall dress standards,” Minister Szakacs said.

“We hope it will encourage more people to see policing a career or choice, if the dress standards had previously held them back from applying.”

Other minor changes to SAPOL’s dress standards were also included.