It’s catching. First this:

And now this:

A “toxic and abhorrent culture” in a police force’s serious and organised crime unit saw officers use racist, sexist and homophobic language, a hearing has been told.

Six officers who worked for Hampshire Constabulary are facing gross misconduct proceedings after being accused of “discriminatory”, “inappropriate” and “offensive” comments about colleagues and members of the public.
Some of the alleged remarks were covertly recorded at the force’s Northern Police Investigation Centre in Basingstoke.
Jason Beer QC, representing Hampshire Constabulary, told the hearing that the unit worked in “relative isolation” which appeared to have contributed to a “toxic and abhorrent culture” where profanities were a “stock-in-trade”.
Women were referred to as “sl**s” and “sweet t***”, while an officer’s partner was described as “an absolute whore”, Mr Beer said.

It was said that a black officer had been “flown from Africa in a crate” and taken to London Zoo and in one incident, an officer “joked about migrants having a long swim and drowning in the sea” – the hearing was told.
It was also said that the unit’s only black officer had used forged documents from Nigeria, using the “racist stereotype that people from Nigeria are fraudsters”, Mr Beer said.

Officers also allegedly used “highly offensive” homophobic and transphobic language, including one who was recorded saying “horrible tranny f*****”.
“None of this behaviour was challenged or reported,” Mr Beer told the hearing.
He added that a “toxic and abhorrent culture” was “inconsistent with the values and standards of the police service in the 21st century”.

The officers facing the gross misconduct hearing are Detective Inspector Timothy Ireson, Detective Sergeant Oliver Lage, Detective Sergeant Gregory Willcox, trainee Detective Constable Andrew Ferguson, PC James Oldfield and PC Craig Bannerman.

DI Ireson has retired and PC Bannerman has resigned since the covert recording was made between 9 March 2018 and 2 April 2018 following complaints to a whistleblowing service.

PC Oldfield is also accused of attending work on 1 April 2018 while unfit for duty “due to excessive alcohol consumption the previous evening/that morning”.
It is alleged he “turned up at work intoxicated” after drinking while watching a boxing match, the hearing was told.

Meanwhile, DS Willcox faces a further allegation that he falsely recorded hours and overtime on 23 March 2018, Hampshire Constabulary have said.

All six officers deny gross misconduct.

The hearing is being held at Hampshire Police’s headquarters in Eastleigh and being live-streamed for a limited number of journalists and members of the public to watch at Hope Church in Winchester.

Ahead of the hearing, a Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: “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 hearing is expected to last up to three weeks.

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