LONDON: A British police officer who shared an Islamophobic picture and made other racist comments has managed to avoid being fired.
PC Andrew Sexton received a final written warning instead of losing his job after being found guilty of misconduct and gross misconduct at a five-day hearing.
The Wiltshire Police officer admitted to sharing a meme of a man trying to post a letter through a burka, which was captioned “should have gone to specsavers” — a reference to a popular glasses shop in the UK.
Sexton, who is originally from Australia and also served in the police there, was also found guilty of using racist slurs after referring to a pair of suspected drug dealers as “two black blokes.”
Many of his offensive comments were made after his commanding officer placed him on a “support plan” in September 2019, which required him not to use derogatory language during work.
Comments allegedly made while on the plan include an offensive remark about Romanians — one of Britain’s largest immigrant populations.
In paperwork sent to Wiltshire’s professional standards department, he appeared to have admitted saying: “I am sure Romania has many nice people in it. But I have never met any of them so I associate that country with bulk shoplifters and criminals.”
Mark Ley-Morgan of Wiltshire Police warned that Sexton’s comments could result in serious reputational harm to the force.
Following the guilty verdict, Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said in a statement: “Wiltshire Police is proud to be an inclusive and diverse organization. It is very important that all our officers and staff feel confident to report anything that they feel is inappropriate, unfair or unlawful.”
He added: “As a Force, we remain committed to robustly and proportionately tackling inappropriate behavior in the workplace and supporting those who report wrongdoing.
“I would like to pay testament to the bravery of those who raised concerns in relation to the actions of PC Sexton.”