A tattooed Guardia Civil officer. / SUR

Guardia Civil officers could face having to remove tattoos from their hands, head and neck

The draft proposal has been tabled by the Ministry of the Interior but police officer associations say the department should concentrate on more important matters

ÁLVARO FRÍAS / JUAN CANO

Spain's Ministry of the Interior is proposing new measures to regulate the appearance of the Guardia Civil officers. However, the draft document that would force officers to, within a year, erase from their bodies any tattoos they have on their hands, neck and head has been rejected by staff associations.

A spokesman for the Unified Association of Civil Guards (AUGC) in Malaga province, Francisco González, explained that, until now, current regulations do not prohibit officers from having tattoos on any part of the body: “This measure not only seems retrograde to us, but also violates the rights of our members, who, if they go ahead with the measure, will have to pay out of pocket for an expensive and very painful procedure. It could affect dozens of our local members."

González said that he expects the ministry to reconsider and amend the draft, saying that it would not be the first time. "First they wanted to erase all tattoos of more than 70 square centimetres on visible parts of the body and this was rejected," he pointed out.

The Professional Civil Guard Association, JUCIL, has also rejected the measure. Spokesperson, Agustín Leal, said that every year they try to establish the rule but that it never goes ahead.

In addition, the proposal also covers aspects such as the regulation of hair length and hairstyle, nail colour, shaving or the use of makeup and other accessories. Both the AUGC and JUCIL hope that the draft, which is currently going through an approval phase, will not go ahead.

Both organisations consider that the ministry should take care of other more important matters, such as providing the necessary means to the officers who risk their lives on the street every day. An obsolete fleet, a shortage of staff or the fact that colleagues sent to foreign countries are not collecting the allowances due are, for example, some of the problems that have been suggested.