Policeman sacked for posting “offensive” anti-Muslim comments on Facebook

Greater Manchester Police headquarters

A police officer who posted “offensive and racist” comments about Muslims on Facebook has been dismissed from Greater Manchester Police force.

During only the second hearing of its kind ever to be heard in public, the officer admitted gross misconduct by breaching professional standards for equality and diversity and discreditable conduct.

A panel chaired by Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett heard how an officer, who remained anonymous throughout the hearing, had posted Facebook comments which had ‘disgusted’ a colleague.

Officer A made a comment below a Daily Mail article about the number of Muslim and Christian children in Birmingham.

He said: “That’s because we have allowed them to settle into their own communities and they have no desire to mix, they would rather take over areas and breed like rabbits.

“If you look at the way they take over certain areas it’s not unlike what the Germans did in Europe, they get a stronghold and then go for broke. We have already had 2 Muslim-related beheadings in this country in a year.”

The comment has since been deleted.

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GMP bosses said the outburst came at a time when the force is ‘at the heart of tackling hate crime and defying racism’ and dismissed Officer A immediately.

ACC Wiggett said the panel noted Officer A’s remorse and good service record – which included several commendations – and accepted the comments were made off-duty on a private Facebook account. But he said the officer should have been aware of the sensitive nature of race as a debate and of GMP’s work to tackle racism.

He said the ‘very concerning’ comments ‘seriously undermined’ confidence in Officer A amongst the public and his GMP colleagues.

He said: “It’s clear to us the message was both offensive and racist in nature.”

Mark Alberry, defending Officer A, admitted the comments made online last September were ‘clumsy and crass’. But he said the officer had been making a point that ‘segregation is not a good idea’. He said Officer A held a number of manual labour jobs before his 14-year career at GMP and was not well educated.

He insisted: “He is not a racist individual who has entrenched views.”

The panel heard character references from colleagues who described Officer A as ‘professional and enthusiastic’ with a good understanding of diversity and equality issues.

One gay colleague said he was ‘one of the most open minded people on the division’, while a Muslim colleague said he was ‘considerate’.

Mr Alberry said Officer A was mourning the death of a close friend and was depressed when he made the comments.

But GMP barrister Jennie Ferrario said the force could not simply regard the comments as ‘clumsy and crass’. She said his continued employment would ‘make a mockery’ of GMP and added: “The authority has lost all confidence in Officer A and asks for him to be dismissed.”

Police bosses say opening up police misconduct hearings to the public will increase transparency within Greater Manchester Constabulary.

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