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Detective breaks down at Hampshire misconduct hearing

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

A detective broke down in tears at one point during a misconduct hearing which heard claims of a "toxic "culture at a Hampshire police unit.

Trainee Det Con Andrew Ferguson said he was "not proud" of offensive language he was secretly recorded saying by professional standards investigators.

He also apologised for not reporting racist comments, the hearing heard.

He is one of six officers from Hampshire's Serious Organised Crime Unit who 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.

Trainee Det Con Ferguson told the hearing: "I'm embarrassed by some of the things that have come out of my mouth.

"I'm not proud of it."

Talking about the culture in his unit he said "it was clear there was racism in the office and I didn't like it".

"It wasn't every day and it wasn't every week, but it did happen," he said.

He told the hearing he felt conflicted because his police officer father was long-standing friends with his supervisors and he was worried he perhaps didn't understand the dynamics of his new team.

He added: "I can only apologise that I wasn't strong enough [to report it] in a way that someone else was brave enough to do."

Retired Det Insp Tim Ireson, Det Sgt Oliver Lage, Det Sgt Willcox, former PC Craig Bannerman, trainee Det Con Ferguson and PC James 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 has been adjourned and will reconvene in December.

Related Topics

  • Hampshire Constabulary
  • Basingstoke

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