Police Scotland: Shaving beard policy

Police Scotland: Shaving beard policy

Written by Mark Williams, In General, Published On
February 27, 2024
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In short

  • The Scottish Police Federation tried to implement a shaving beard policy, which states that every officer will shave his beard to showcase a clean appearance.
  • The high rank-and-train police officers said it had been submersed with complaints about the policy, causing “angst” for numerous officers.
  • The outcome differed from the policymakers as they had to postpone the policy implementation after the disapproval from many health-line workers and officers.

Police Scotland is planning to introduce a new clean-divested policy for frontline officers, according to correspondence seen by the BBC. It means hundreds of officers will have to shave off their beards and mustaches by the end of the month. Four are understood to be taking legal action about the policy. Police Scotland said officers and staff needed to wear defensive FFP3 masks, which bear users to be clean-divested. The policy, which also covers service woman staff in frontline places, has been approved by the principal, Bobby, and is due to be introduced on 29 May.

What is with the Police Scotland Shaving Beard policy?

Police Scotland
credit-BBC

Police Scotland has about 17,000 officers and 6,000 staff. It’s the UK’s second biggest force behind the Metropolitan police. During the Covid epidemic, police officers were fitted with specialist masks to protect them from the virus. The Met’s policy says,” Beards and mustaches are allowed, but they must not look untidy. Keep them trimmed and intelligent”. A communication posted on Police Scotland’s internal website from Assistant Chief Constable Alan Speirs said assignments learned from the epidemic linked that FFP3 masks offered officers and staff the most applicable and adequate respiratory protection. He said that while the threat from coronavirus had lowered, wider pitfalls remained for officers and staff attending calls similar to fires, road accidents, and chemical incidents, which required wearing PPE (particular defensive outfits).

What is Police Scotland’s new respiratory defensive outfit (RPE) policy?

Police Scotland’s new respiratory defensive outfit (RPE) policy will mean that where it can be “nicely previsioned” that any officer or member of staff will use an FFP3 mask, they should work as a protective gear. This includes all original policing frontline officers, road policing, arms, and public order officers. There will be immunity for religious, artistic, disability, or medical reasons. In these circumstances, the force seeks to introduce an indispensable type of respiratory protection.

What was the reason behind the Police Scotland Shaving Beard Policy?

The Scottish Police Federation tried to implement a shaving beard policy, which states that every officer will shave his beard to showcase a clean appearance. The high rank-and-train police officers said it had been submersed with complaints about the policy, causing “angst” for numerous officers. They said it supported several members who had lodged employment cases and sought legal opinion relating to health and safety, demarcation, and moral rights. The  confederation’s general clerk, David Kennedy, told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland program, “The health and safety superintendent guidance is that a policy like this should only be utilized as a last resort, and officers have raised applicable questions as to why this policy is now being proposed.”  

What was the consequence of Police Scotland’s Shaving Beard Policy?

Police Scotland

A far-reaching consequence of this policy is strong opposition from the officers. They said, “They are extremely worried. They have had to go off sick because notoriety had told them to shave, which sounds ridiculous, but that is what happened”.Right in the morning, we raised this and said there are some of our manly associates whose families and kiddies do not indeed know what they look like without a beard, and also, you are asking them to change their appearance. “It’s got far-reaching consequences for them as an existent.” It is understood that the four officers involved inked 90-day non-disclosure agreements about their agreements, which is why details haven’t surfaced sooner.

What was the outcome of the Police Scotland Shaving Beard Policy?

The outcome differed from the policymakers as they had to postpone the policy implementation after the disapproval from many health-line workers and officers. They also had to pay £60,000 to four police officers because they took legal action against this policy. Mr Kennedy said he hoped Police Scotland would reverse the decision. “People would be facing misconduct if they did not shave. Some officers may have to shave twice a day for these masks to work”, and said there were “other health and safety issues” the force should be fastened on.

Understand the frustrations in a statement, the policy was being introduced to cover those on the frontline, and that the FFP3 mask added as a threat “from coronavirus which has lowered, wider pitfalls remain to those attending calls,  similar as fires, road accidents and chemical incidents which bear PPE to be worn.” The exception to this policy covers officers and staff who can not shave for religious, artistic, disability, or medical reasons.

The National Sikh Police Association supported the new measures and could understand why Police Scotland wanted to introduce the clean-shaved policy. A spokesperson said, “We drink the immunity, including those for our Sikh associates. The indispensable respirators are an important policy element, and we trust the investment in the indispensable outfit will be sufficient“.

Conclusion

Police Scotland said it was unfit to note on the agreements. The force’s laid-over clean divested policy will be reviewed soon. Still, till now, they have postponed the implementation of the beard policy as it is not benefitting them in any scenario.

FAQs

Q: What is Police Scotland’s shave beard policy?

The Scottish Police Federation tried to implement a shaving beard policy, which states that every officer will shave his beard to showcase a clean appearance.

Q: Where did the idea of Shave beard policy emerge?

During the COVID-19 epidemic, police officers were fitted with specialist masks to protect them from the virus. The idea of a shaving beard policy emerged as it can lead to individuals cleaning themselves without getting infected.

Q: Is there any exception in the Shaving beard policy?

Yes, there are exceptions for officers and staff who can not shave for religious, artistic, disability, or medical reasons.

Q: Does the Police Scotland implement the Shaving beard policy?

No, the implementation has not occurred at this moment and is still in the phase of consideration because of the strong opposition of the officers and staff.

Q: Did the Police Scotland implement the Shaving beard policy?

The outcome was not in favor of the policymakers as they had to postpone the implementation of the policy after the disapproval from many health-line workers and officers, but the implementation is still in consideration.

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