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UK police officer sacked over 'offensive and racist' Facebook comments

2015-06-07 18:00:31

police uniformMark Alberry, defending, said the officer was making a point against segregation, but conceded the comments were ‘clumsy and crass’. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA

Greater Manchester police have sacked an officer over “offensive and racist” comments posted on Facebook about Muslims.

In the second hearing of its kind heard in public, the officer, referred to only as Officer A, admitted gross misconduct. A panel found he breached standards for equality and diversity.

Officer A made the comment in response to a Daily Mail article about the number of Muslim children in Birmingham that was posted on Facebook, the panel heard.

“We have allowed them to settle in to their own communities and they have no desire to mix, they would rather take over areas and breed like rabbits,” he said, according to a report in the Manchester Evening News.

“If you look at the way they take over certain areas, it’s not unlike what the Germans did in Europe, they get a stronghold and then go for broke. We have already had two Muslim-related beheadings in this country in a year.”

The comment, made last September from the officer’s private Facebook account, has since been deleted.

ACC Ian Wiggett, who chaired the disciplinary panel, said Officer A should have considered the sensitivities surrounding race.

“It’s clear to us the message was both offensive and racist in nature,” he was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News. Still, he insisted that Officer A “is not a racist individual who has entrenched views”.

Although one colleague had complained of being disgusted by Officer A’s comments, the panel heard character references from others who described him as “professional and enthusiastic”.

Mark Alberry, defending, said in mitigation that Officer A had been in mourning and depressed when he made the comments. He said the officer was making a point against segregation, but conceded the comments were “clumsy and crass”.

GMP’s decision came as Britain’s most senior policeman admitted there was some justification to allegations of racism in London’s Metropolitan police.

In an interview for a BBC documentary, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe conceded that officers in Britain’s largest force were “much more likely” to stop and search young black men than whites.

“I can’t explain that fully,” he said. “I can give you reasons, but I can’t fully explain it. So there is some justification.”

Source: theguardian.com

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