Five out of six police officers in a “toxic” specialist team have been sacked for their “shameful” behaviour after they were recorded using racist, sexist and homophobic language.
The action follows disciplinary proceedings against the members of Hampshire Constabulary’s serious and organised crime unit (SOCU) in Basingstoke.
An anonymous tip-off about their behaviour led the force to launch an investigation and the team’s office was bugged.
A tribunal found the six officers had committed gross misconduct with their “abhorrent” comments.
Detective Sergeant Oliver Lage, Detective Sergeant Gregory Willcox and PC James Oldfield have been dismissed without notice.Advertisement
Retired detective inspector Tim Ireson, the unit’s commanding officer, and former PC Craig Bannerman would have been sacked if they had not left the force, while trainee Detective Constable Andrew Ferguson has been given a final written warning.
John Bassett, the independent panel’s legally qualified chair, 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.
Read more: Hampshire Police officers in ‘toxic’ unit sacked after being recorded using bigoted language – but painfully handcuffing women sitting at a bench drinking coffee and manhandling 92-year-old peaceful protestors is fine