Criminal tattoos are in fashion among gang members and criminals. Through tattoos marked over their bodies, criminals show their allegiance to their respective gangs. It is interesting to note that many times criminal tattoos record the wearer's personal skills, specialties, accomplishments and convictions. Certain Criminal tattoos have developed recognized as coded meanings. Right from Russian, US, Vietnam, Thailand, and so on criminal tattoos have an intricate system of symbols containing information about the person having that tattoo. Be it a simple rose or a spade or a skull, each of the criminal tattoo stands for something unique. To know more about the types of criminal tattoo existing in various countries, browse through the following lines.
Criminal Tattoos In Various Countries
Britain and Ireland
One of the most common tattoos integrated in the prisons of United Kingdom is A.C.A.B. A short form, the letters usually impressed in a manner that a letter features in between the knuckle and first joint of each finger. A.C.A.B. either stand for "All Coppers Are Bastards", or "Always Carry A Bible", depending on, who is asking and whether the bearer is trying to make a good impression. It was in the 1970 that the British Oi! Punk band popularized the phrase further, with a song based on the same. A similar phrase A.P.A.B., meaning "All Pigs Are Bastards" was also in vogue, and was primarily used as a derogatory slang term for police officer. Though formerly used, criminals were seen to flaunt a dot on the left cheekbone, a sign of completing a sentence at Borstal, which was considered a status symbol. Another criminal tattoo was a "Borstal Glove" on the back of the hand.
Tattoos with three dots in the form of a triangle, found in between the thumb and forefinger, was one of the most prevalent generic tattoo in North America. The art usually stood for "mi vida loca" ("my crazy life"), or the three major connections of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The tattoo may or may not have a direct connection with the gangs. A similar type was adopted by the Vietnamese teenagers, under the interpretation of "tôi không c?n ǵ c?", meaning "I don't need nothing". Another variety was a teardrop at one of the eyes of the wearer. The tattoo was indicative of the fact that the wearer has killed someone, or a friend of theirs was killed in prison. Symbols of aggression such as skulls, tattoos advertising a particular skill, or religious imagery, tattoos of a clock with no hands symbolical of phrase "until the end of time" (life sentence) are some of the other criminal tattoos found.
Russian criminal tattoos are highly expressive and when clearly studied, can reflect much about the personality of a person. Apart from the tattoos being symbolical, the place on which it is impressed can carry a lot of meaning as well. You would be surprised to know that flaunting a false tattoo is punishable by death in the criminal underworld. Distinctive by bluish shade, the tattoo is usually blurred, because of the lack of instruments to draw fine lines. Additionally, tattoos were also used to stigmatize and penalize individuals, within the criminal society. Forehead tattoos are forced to humiliate the wearer and also caution people about him/her. In Russia, tattoos that are comprised of political or anti-authoritarian statements are tagged as 'grins' and are usually seen on the stomach region. The four suits of Russian criminal tattoo are - spades (that signify "suit of thieves"), clubs (that stands for a "criminal" suit that represents a sword), diamonds meaning (the "chummy suit" i.e. stool pigeons and informers, this suit is usually forcibly applied) and hearts indicative of a sexual symbol.
Popular Criminal Tattoos & Their Meanings
Spider: A spider or spider web tattoo symbolized that a person is or has done his time in the prison. If the spider is shown in the center of the web then that meant then he/she is punished for a life imprisonment. If the spider is shown trying to climb out of the web then that meant that the criminal is trying to reform his/her ways.
Roses With Thorns Around It: It meant that the criminal entered into adulthood in the prison.
Stars: If engraved on the knees then that meant that the wearer will never kneel before anyone, generally an ex-convict who has reformed him/herself tremendously. If the stars were engraved on the shoulders then that meant that the owner of the tattoo has some status and is a disciplined follower of the tradition and hierarchy. This was generally for the captains in the regiment or the guardians of the prisons.
Skulls: It basically meant murder. The wearer is designated as a murderer.
Barbed Wire: This meant life imprisonment without any probability of parole.