BBC News

Offensive words 'widely used' at Hampshire Constabulary

Published
image captionThe six men were based at the Serious and Organised Crime Unit in Basingstoke

A tribunal which heard claims of a "toxic" culture at a Hampshire police unit has been told offensive words were "widely used" across the force.

PC James Oldfield told the hearing two words considered derogatory to women were used "at all different ranks".

He apologised to the panel for his repeated swearing, saying "he meant to make people laugh" rather than offend.

Six officers from Hampshire's Serious Organised Crime Unit North office deny gross misconduct.

The force disciplinary hearing at Hampshire Police's headquarters in Eastleigh was previously told the accused members of the Basingstoke-based unit were secretly recorded making homophobic, racist and sexist remarks.

A "toxic, abhorrent culture" developed with officers using offensive terms for women, black people, immigrants, disabled, gay and transgender people and foreign nationals, the hearing was told.

PC Oldfield also told the tribunal an offensive word for people from the travelling community was also "widely used throughout the police".

"This is a true reflection of Hampshire Constabulary, not just our team," he said.

He described his team as "close-knit" and said "everyone got teased", including himself, but when asked about possible racism he denied it, saying the one black officer in the unit was "not singled out".

He added: "I think our team are being made an example of, and placing us in front of yourselves and the public is trying to hide certain aspects of Hampshire Constabulary's inability to learn from incidents like this that have happened in the past."

Retired Det Insp Tim Ireson, Det Sgt Oliver Lage, Det Sgt Willcox, former PC Craig Bannerman, trainee Det Con Andrew Ferguson and PC Oldfield are all accused of breaching professional standards.

Mr Ireson and Det Sgt Willcox are accused of failing to fulfil their supervisory roles to stop or report the inappropriate behaviour.

The hearing continues.

Related Topics

  • Hampshire Constabulary
  • Basingstoke

More on this story

  • Hampshire police unit supervisor 'sent emails to run football club'