THREE Hampshire police officers have been sacked for ‘grossly offensive’ homophobic and sexist behaviour.
Det Sgt Mark Hall, Det Con Andy Holt and PC Colin Campbell have been dismissed for gross misconduct with ‘immediate effect’ following a probe.
Chief constable Andy Marsh last night branded the men’s behaviour towards colleagues ‘detestable’.
Meanwhile Jennifer Izekor, commissioner for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said of the trio: ‘They have no place in policing.’
The force referred allegations of bullying and inappropriate behaviour by employees to the IPCC in November.
The IPCC then decided to supervise a six-month internal investigation.
Professional standards officials uncovered evidence of grossly inappropriate behaviour but exact details of the men’s remarks have not been revealed.
The force has said it is inappropriate to disclose this information as the officers each have the right of appeal.
But it said the comments were ‘explicit and deeply offensive,’ and directed at people ‘across a range of ranks.’
The IPCC has said the men made ‘casual and repeated use of demeaning language’ in relation to colleagues.
Det Con Holt, PC Campbell and Det Sgt Hall – who last year received a long service and good conduct medal at the Chief Constable’s Awards – were made aware of the allegations and suspended following an initial investigation. The men – who were all based in Havant – were dismissed following a formal hearing on Wednesday.
Mr Marsh said in a statement: ‘The detail of these allegations was extremely serious in nature.
‘The subsequent investigation uncovered evidence of grossly inappropriate and offensive behaviour centred on homophobic and sexist comments about colleagues within the force.
‘I find the behaviour that we uncovered detestable. It is not something that I will tolerate within Hampshire Constabulary.’
The IPCC has received regular updates from the force during the probe.
Ms Izekor commended Hampshire police’s handling of the investigation.
She said of the officers: ‘Their casual and repeated use of demeaning language demonstrated a complete lack of respect for their colleagues and the force can only be stronger without them.
‘They have no place in policing and their behaviour fell well below the standards expected by the people of Hampshire.
‘I am satisfied that this case was treated with the seriousness it deserves by Hampshire police and want to commend the force on the thorough and robust nature of their investigation once these allegations emerged.
‘I endorse the action they have taken.’
The force said it could not discuss specific details of individuals’ circumstances but officers who do not complete their full term of service are not entitled to full benefits such as their pension.
HAMPSHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner has said he ‘does not accept’ unethical behaviour.
Simon Hayes would be charged with hearing any appeals lodged against the men’s dismissals. It would be the first such hearing he has presided over since being elected in 2012.
Mr Hayes last night told The News: ‘I think where it is shown and proven that police officers have fallen short of integrity and professionalism and committed gross misconduct, I would expect the chief constable to take appropriate action to discipline or ultimately dismiss those concerned.’
Mr Hayes has said the force is to sign up to the College of Policing’s new Code of Ethics.