People are more comfortable with tattooed police officers than tattooed estate agents, survey finds

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People are more comfortable with a tattooed police officer than a tattooed estate agent, a survey has found. 

73 per cent of people said they would be “comfortable” with a visibly tattooed police officer, compared to 69 per cent saying the same about estate agents. 

The study, from property firm Savoy Stewart, comes as the Police Federation announced the success of its campaign for acceptance of tattooed police officers.

Nearly half of serving police officers have a tattoo. 17 per cent have a tattoo which is visible when they wear their uniform. 

Home Office guidance on tattoos is vague and open to interpretation, meaning enforcement is inconsistent and varies across forces. How 

How comfortable / uncomfortable are people with a tattooed…



Athlete: 88% / 12%


Chef : 81% / 19%


Police Officer: 73% / 27%


IT Technician: 72% / 28%


Estate Agent: 69% / 31%


Banker: 63% / 37%


Doctor:  59% / 41%


Judge: 59% /41%


Nurse:  57% / 43%


Lawyer:  57% /43%


Primary School Teacher:  49% / 51%


Political Figure: 44% / 56%


Air Hostess:  42% / 58%

The Police Federation said in a statement: “One of the biggest issues we faced is the way some forces view officers and potential new recruits with tattoos – some forces will not accept a person with a tattoo that cannot be covered by uniform. This approach is significantly restricting the pool of potential talent, as one in five 18-29 year-olds has a tattoo.” 

New guidance on appearance standards– developed by the College of Policing – aims to “provide officers and staff with clear direction on their appearance, so that they present a professional image while also being allowed some self-expression”.

The Savoy Stewart survey was developed to test public attitudes to tattooed police officers alongside other industry professionals. 

Respondents said they were most comfortable with inked athletes (88 per cent), chefs (81 per cent) and surprisingly police officers, who came in third place.

The survey found participants were least happy with tattoos on air hostesses, with 58 per cent saying they would be “uncomfortable” with an inked air hostess. 


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