Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Sunday, 31 August 2008 12:26 UK

Police guide sets dress standards

Designer stubble is out for Norfolk Police and hands have to be kept out of pockets

A police force has banned officers from having designer stubble and using mobile phones in public.

Norfolk Constabulary has given all officers a "modern" behaviour guide and appearance code.

They are told to be "polite and courteous", dress "appropriately", and not keep their hands in their pockets.

The guide advises on personal standards as part of a "modernisation" campaign, not because recently three officers had been prosecuted, a spokeswoman said.

Police behaviour

Several Norfolk policemen have appeared in court in recent months.

Judges have heard how a sergeant harassed and assaulted a woman, a constable put a woman in fear of violence and another constable committed fraud.

The police spokeswoman said the guide had not been issued as a result of officers being convicted of crimes - nor was there a problem with police behaviour or dress standards.

New uniforms are due to be unveiled next week with different colours for police officers and community support staff and the guide is designed to guide behaviour to project a "modern" style of policing.

Senior staff are told to tackle the "too busy syndrome" and address "negative trends".

These are defined as "tendencies towards frequent sickness, poor discipline, low workload, sloppy paperwork and laziness".

Pointers on appearance

Designer stubble is "unacceptable" and officers must not wear jewellery "through the nose, eyebrows, lips (or) tongue".

Make-up can be worn "in moderation" but officers must not paint their nails in "extreme colours" and the code says long-sleeved shirts may be provided to cover "inappropriate tattoos".

A police spokeswoman said the guide also gives seven items of advice relating to "supervisory standards" and more than a dozen pointers on appearance.

"It is important we make positive impressions with everyone we deal with," says the introduction to the guide.

"What you say and what you do can have a lasting effect on others - both in their impression of you personally but also of Norfolk Constabulary."

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Learmonth said: "Creating a truly modern organisation is at the heart of our new Norfolk policing model.

"Making a positive impression on the people we have contact with is an important element of today's policing."

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