Police officer sacked after using racist language towards BAME colleague

A police officer has been sacked for using racist language in front of and towards a colleague who is an ethnic minority.

The Devon and Cornwall Police officer, who has not been named, was dismissed from the force for gross misconduct following a three-day disciplinary hearing at the police headquarters in Exeter.

The panel, led by independent, legally qualified chairman Deni Mathews, found that the officer’s behaviour had fallen below the expected standards of professional behaviour in respect of equality and diversity; authority, respect and courtesy; and discreditable conduct.

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On May 29, 2020, in the presence of a number of colleagues within a police station, the officer in question allegedly used racist and discriminatory language.

A BAME officer (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) was present and the offensive language was in part directed towards that officer, police said.

Following a three-day hearing held in Exeter, the panel concluded that the allegation was proven and the disciplined officer’s actions represented gross misconduct.

It was determined that the officer would be dismissed without notice. The officer’s details will be submitted to the College of Policing Barred List, preventing them from working within any police force again.

Deputy chief constable Jim Colwell said the matter which led to the disciplinary hearing was reported promptly.

He added: “ Devon and Cornwall Police values equality and diversity enormously and is an open and inclusive organisation.

“We expect all of our officers and staff to mirror this and to abide by the highest standards of behaviour, both on and off duty.

“Racist, discriminatory language or behaviour of any kind is unacceptable and goes against our values.”

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The panel concluded that the decision was reached in large part because of the critical need to uphold public confidence in Devon and Cornwall Police.

Dismissal was found to be required to underline that such language and behaviour will not be tolerated.

DCC Colwell said the decision was reached as it was necessary to maintain public confidence in the fact that principles of equality and diversity will be fostered and protected by Devon and Cornwall Police.

He said both officers and the wider public should be aware of the firm and unwavering commitment of the force to deal with such behaviour.

The officer in question has appealed against the decision.

He added: “This matter was reported promptly internally and has been dealt with by the organisation as a result of these concerns being raised by our staff.

“We are aware the officer concerned has chosen to appeal the decision of the disciplinary panel. This appeal will be heard by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and we await the outcome.

“The officer who was the subject of the offensive comments continues to be supported by the force.”

Cornwall Live