A police officer was fired for making racist remarks in front of and towards a colleague belonging to an ethnic minority.
The unnamed Devon and Cornwall police officer was dismissed for gross misconduct following a three-day disciplinary hearing at police headquarters in Exeter.
The panel, led by Independent Chairman and legal scholar Deni Mathews, concluded that the officer’s behavior fell below expected standards of professional behavior in relation to equality and diversity; authority, respect and courtesy; and dishonorable conduct.
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On May 29, 2020, in the presence of several colleagues in a police station, the police officer in question allegedly used racist and discriminatory language.
A BAME (Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority) officer was present and the offensive language was partly directed at that officer, police said.
Following a three-day hearing held in Exeter, the panel concluded that the allegation was proven and that the disciplined officer’s actions amounted to serious misconduct.
It was determined that the officer would be terminated without notice. The officer’s details will be put on the College of Policing’s banned list, barring them from working in a police force again.
Deputy Chief Constable Jim Colwell said the matter that led to the disciplinary hearing was reported quickly.
He added: “Devon and Cornwall Police greatly value equality and diversity and are an open and inclusive organisation.
“We expect all of our officers and staff to reflect this and to uphold the highest standards of behavior both on and off duty.
“Racist, discriminatory language or behavior of any kind is unacceptable and goes against our values.”
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The committee concluded that the decision was made largely because of the critical need to maintain public confidence in Devon and Cornwall Police.
The dismissal was deemed necessary to emphasize that such comments and behavior will not be tolerated.
DCC Colwell said the decision was made because it was necessary to maintain public confidence that the principles of equality and diversity will be promoted and protected by Devon and Cornwall Police.
He said officers and the general public should be aware of the force’s firm and unwavering commitment to dealing with such behavior.
The officer in question appealed the decision.
He added: “This matter was promptly reported internally and has been addressed by the organization following these concerns raised by our staff.
“We know that the officer concerned has chosen to appeal the decision of the disciplinary committee. This appeal will be heard by the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner and we await the outcome.
“The officer who was the subject of the offensive comments continues to be forcefully supported.”