Aussie cops fight for beards, ponytails
Sat, 13 Oct 2012 6:30p.m.
By Australia Correspondent Rachel Morton
A group of Australian police have launched a legal challenge for the right to keep their beards and ponytails. The Victorian police commissioner banned them last year, after the state's premier said they diminish public trust.
Sixteen senior police officers from across Victoria are standing united, claiming they've been discriminated against.
“The motto of the Victorian police is to uphold the right,” says police officer Michael Kuyken. “Today is our first step in upholding our rights.”
A rule introduced by Victoria's police commissioner last year states that beards and ponytails should be forced off the force. But these men say they're being victimised and their human rights have been violated on the grounds of appearance, religion and sex.
So they've taken their case to the Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
“It's just something I’ve had for the last 11 years,” says police officer Anthony Downes. “It's the way the family have seen me and know me. My wife and children don't see why I should have to change my appearance and it certainly doesn't impact on my professionalism or the way I conduct my business or do my job.”
The men also claim say they've been victimised because they weren't paid to attend the Tribunal and want a temporary injunction appealing that.
Beards and ponytails are fine in Queensland and New South Wales, and there's no problem with them in New Zealand.
The Tribunal has reserved its decision until December and that may not be the end of the matter, as the police commissioner also wants to ban visible tattoos.
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11/03/2013 4:43:14 p.m.
Christopher Gallardo Jr. wrote:
Bottom-line, it's a civil rights issue.~
The "professional" looking shaved person is just as likely to be a serial killer if not more, because "they look just like everybody else".~
18/10/2012 7:26:14 p.m.
I guessed its up to the police to wear beared or a pony tail as it can be dangerous when terrorist attack occur or captured by the terrors' they would burn your beard or drag you by the pony tails until it come off your skull. rethink' and look at the safety side of your outlook.
14/10/2012 5:19:34 p.m.
Worthless Slackers wrote:
These slackers should be fired now! This is NOT discrimination nor Victimisation in the Equal Opportunity Act because it applies to everyone and they aren't being treated "differently." They are welcome to find another job where they can wear a beard. I'm sick of layabouts who refuse to do their jobs - I've always been ignored by the Police when I've needed them as there's no requirement the Police have to help anyone. How dare they expect to be paid for their frivolous case!
14/10/2012 4:33:21 p.m.
I'm apalled at the number of our Kiwi cops who only look different from gang members because of their uniform. The shaved head and goatee beard seems pretty popular. I used to respect the police. I'm 70 now and think they are a bunch of thugs.
13/10/2012 11:04:23 p.m.
That's is a stupid rule and I support then 100%. They got know right to tell you not to have beard or cut your ponytail why did they employed them on the first place then, Now they want to change there rule. I think they are in the wrong side of the planet.
13/10/2012 9:57:11 p.m.
I agree with the premier, A clean shaven face and short cropped hair is the image of professionalism and would definately be the more trusted image.
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