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SA police relax rules on tattoos and long hair

South Australian police can now have visible tattoos and male officers longer hair under changes to dress standards.

Tattoos must not be offensive and can't be on the ears, face, head, scalp, or on the front or sides of the neck.

Long hair must be worn appropriately to comply with health and safety rules.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the changes would ensure the force better reflected the community it served.

"These changes are a major shift in our organisational culture," Mr Stevens said.

"These changes could remove a barrier for some of those applicants who may have not previously considered SAPOL as a career because they wanted to retain their longer hair or were concerned about having to cover up their tattoos."

Mr Stevens said before making the move, research had been conducted to determine the views of the public.

"This is not about lowering standards but more so balancing dress standard policies to reflect societal change," he said.

"The professional look of police officers will not be impacted, as this is not a free-for-all approach to hairstyles or tattoos."

Police Minister Joe Szakacs said the changes reflected the shifting community sentiment around tattoos and overall dress standards.

"We hope it will encourage more people to see policing as a career of choice, if the dress standards had previously held them back from applying," he said.