Racist, sexist, homophobic police officers sacked

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Three police officers at Hampshire Constabulary’s serious organised crime unit (Socu) have been sacked for gross misconduct after their ‘lads’ pad’ was secretly bugged following concerns raised by a whistleblower.

The panel heard a catalogue of sexist, racist, homophobic and ableist language and commentary that has rightly shocked us all and understandably left people with many questions about how this has been allowed to happen” – Olivia Pinkney, Hampshire chief constable

A further two detectives would have been dismissed had they not left the force already.

Detective sergeant Oliver Lage, DS Gregory Willcox and PC James Oldfield were dismissed without notice, while their retired commanding officer, detective inspector Tim Ireson, and former PC Craig Bannerman would have been sacked by the force’s disciplinary tribunal, it stated.

Trainee detective constable Andrew Ferguson was given a final written warning.

Hampshire Constabulary chief constable Olivia Pinkney said: “During the hearing, the panel heard a catalogue of sexist, racist, homophobic and ableist language and commentary that has rightly shocked us all and understandably left people with many questions about how this has been allowed to happen.

“I have always said that policing is built upon the values of professionalism, compassion, courage and integrity and the public have a right to expect the highest standards from the officers and staff who are entrusted to keep them safe.

“These officers have failed to deliver on the promise they made to uphold fundamental human rights and accord equal respect to all people, the oath they declared when they took the office of constable.”

The six officers have apologised but one said they felt they were being “made an example of”. In total, 20 police officers and civilian employees from Hampshire Socu North unit – referred to by other staff as a “lads’ pad” – faced some sort of disciplinary action.

During the misconduct hearing at Hampshire Police’s Eastleigh headquarters, it was heard a “toxic, abhorrent culture” developed with officers using offensive terms for women, black people, immigrants, disabled, gay and transgender people and foreign nationals.

John Bassett, chair of the disciplinary panel, said: “Police officers, whether individually or as a unit, cannot pick and choose which of the standards they will abide by. In particular, it is not open to members of a particular unit to disregard some of the standards in the belief that this makes them more of an effective or cohesive unit.

“In the panel’s opinion, the matters it has found proved are the antithesis of what the public expects and what is clearly set out in the standards of public behaviour. The conduct in question was shameful.”

Explicit fake pornographic images of the royal family were shared on a work WhatsApp group while the covert recordings included descriptions of women as “sl**s” and “whores” and comments that the only black officer in the unit had arrived from Africa in a crate.

Zoe Wakefield, chair of the Hampshire Police Federation, said the detectives’ behaviour should not “tarnish the hard work and dedication” of other officers. “The outdated and offensive views we heard during the hearing have no place in society and they certainly have no place in policing,” she said.

The sacked officers’ names would be placed on a public list of banned officers.

Pinkney added: “I would hope that the public have seen that we don’t accept this type of behaviour, that when it is raised that we will take action and we will be open and transparent about that, no matter how difficult that may be.”

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9 Responses to Racist, sexist, homophobic police officers sacked

  1. Avatar
    Archie Brand 8 Jan 2021 at 2:26 pm #

    How very sad that these officers have been sacked for expressing privately held views in what they believed to be private conversations in a private environment.

    What is next? Policing of personal thoughts?

    While I’m sure the modern management would like to believe that we are a nation of PC individuals thinking only approved thoughts that is definitely not the case, and if every business followed the example of Hampshire Constabulary I suspect COVID notwithstanding half of the country’s workforce would be terminated.

    We’re still a generation and a half away from this ideal world.

    • Avatar
      Joe71 8 Jan 2021 at 5:16 pm #

      They were sacked for breaking the law mate.

    • Avatar
      L 9 Jan 2021 at 7:15 am #

      Did you miss the bit where it was written that “Explicit fake pornographic images of the royal family were shared on a work WhatsApp group”
      WORK whatsapp. And they were in the work environment making comments. Not in a private environment

    • Avatar
      Arsenal 9 Jan 2021 at 7:31 pm #

      Do you even know what approved thinking means ? Which planet do you live in ? How would you feel if someone tells you that your mother or sister is a bi…ch or a s..t? Oh well is personal thinking! I cannot believe that people like you are so brainless to think and express an opinion for a such sensitive matter ! Shocking this is !

    • Avatar
      Jessica 11 Jan 2021 at 8:37 am #

      We’re only still a generation and a half away if everyone had the same attitude as you.

      Those personal thoughts and private views are what cause the systemic injustice and regardless if they’re private conversations in a private environment, they’re discriminating and disrespectful. It’s also telling of their character if they don’t even have the courage to say it someones face but have to say it in private, cowards. They should be held accountable and quite frankly, embarrassed about their behaviour as professional adults in today’s society.

      Public servants are in force to serve the public and know exactly what they are signing up for when they choose to follow that career path. The views of a group of law officials can impact on innocent lives if they treat gender, race and status in the same way as their thoughts.

      I suggest you go away and educate yourself on the systemic injustices and develop a moral compass of your own as you clearly approve of the aforementioned behaviour. Maybe if you understood better, you wouldn’t have such negative, non-PC and derogatory thoughts about others.

  2. Avatar
    Ashley Gillespie 8 Jan 2021 at 6:09 pm #

    So you want people with those views to have the kind of power that the police have ? – judging by your comment – you don’t fall into the any of the categories that these individuals have a problem with , and you must also share their views – otherwise you would have a problem with the things they were recorded saying , even if they were ‘privately held views’

    What a pathetic take on this issue – it’s people like you that are holding the world back

  3. Avatar
    Ray Sutton 9 Jan 2021 at 9:02 am #

    Another victory for the Liberal left wing pc woke society.

    What has happened to freedom of speech in this country. Private conversations are exactly that – PRIVATE. They were not conducted at the workplace, so why should these officers be dismissed from their jobs. If that’s the case and a precedent be set because of this, over 50% of the country’s workforce would be out of a job. Try all you like, racism and homophobia will never be eradicated from society.
    If you want to stamp out racism, then maybe the UK should seriously review its immigration policies and also stop tv and media promoting all the LGBTQ nonsense on tv. These objects made their life choices, so tough, take the flak when it comes your way.

  4. Avatar
    Dan 9 Jan 2021 at 12:40 pm #

    I think the report should specify if the ‘lads pad’ is some kind of staff room within the workplace or the home of one or more of the individuals involved. In case of the latter, I would argue the main violation of human rights here is the Hampshire Constabulary going ‘1984’ on its staff.

  5. Avatar
    Christopher Ives by h 19 Jan 2021 at 11:45 pm #

    Was there any complaints from the public about this units behaviour? What professional people may say in private is not always a guide to how they conduct themselves in public.Sadly we have lost years of experience in catching vicious .nasty criminals due to puritanical political correctness. . Instead of the brutality of sacking , management could have whispered in their ear to tone it down a bit as there had been complaints..Please let’s start reapplying common sense

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