Statement from Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney following conclusion of gross misconduct hearing
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STATEMENT FROM CHIEF CONSTABLE OLIVIA PINKNEY
Today the independent panel considering the outcome of the gross misconduct ruling against six Hampshire Constabulary police officers has determined that DS Greg Willcox, DS Oliver Lage and PC James Oldfield should be dismissed with immediate effect, former DI Timothy Ireson and former PC Craig Bannerman would have been dismissed had they not left policing already and PC Andrew Ferguson should receive a final written warning.
This case came about following an anonymous report through the force’s confidential reporting system. We launched an internal investigation which included a decision to conduct convert monitoring within the SOCU North office at the Northern Police Investigation Centre. During that time, discriminatory comments were captured that were neither challenged or reported.
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.
Policing has never before been under so much appropriate scrutiny to ensure an inclusive environment for all our officers and staff to flourish and bring their best.
There is no place in my force, or in policing more widely, for those who do not live up to this standard.
These behaviours fell far short of those expected by me. These officers have undermined the trust and confidence of our communities and damaged the reputations of their colleagues who do treat people with respect and uphold the values and standards quite rightly expected by those we police.
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.