Six police officers of the Hampshire Police Force are facing a misconduct hearing after being accused of making remarks about LGBT+ people, people of colour and women.
The six officers will face a misconduct hearing on Monday after the Hampshire Constabulary said they were covertly recorded making “discriminatory”, “inappropriate” or “offensive” remarks at the Northern Police Investigation Centre in Basingstoke.
A number of the officers are said to have sent emails from work accounts, which the Constabulary say are “discriminatory, inappropriate or offensive” in their nature. It also said that similar messages were found in text and Whatsapp messages. The force did not go into details about what the messages said.
Detective Inspector Timothy Ireson, Detective Sergeant Oliver Lage, Detective Sergeant Gregory Willcox, trainee Detective Constable Andrew Ferguson, PC James Oldfield and PC Craig Bannerman will face a police disciplinary hearing in Winchester.
Two of the officers, DI Ireson and PC Bannerman have since retired or resigned from their posts at the force.
Who and where are Hampshire Police?
Hampshire Police is responsible for policing the counties of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in South East England. Its largest city is Southampton. It has an annual budget of £337.3 million and employs around 4000 people, with a further 450 volunteers.
Since 2006 the force has constantly been featured in the top 100 employers in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index. In 2010 it reached its peak of 2nd place.
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said to Sky News, “It is alleged that the breaches of the standards of professional behaviour outlined are so serious that, if proven, dismissal would be justified and, as such, it is alleged that the behaviour amounts to gross misconduct.”
The disciplinary hearing is schedule to last up to three weeks.