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Thames Valley Police misconduct hearing: Newbury officer accused of racist, homophobic speech

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A Newbury police officer made racist, homophobic comments to colleagues, a disciplinary tribunal heard today (Thursday).

The Thames Valley Police misconduct hearing was told that shocked colleagues had reported the officer.

The accused, former PC Perry Greenhalf, denies gross misconduct but resigned ahead of the hearing at police headquarters in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, and is therefore not present.

police (53330621)
police (53330621)

Barrister George Thomas, prosecuting, told the tribunal the officer had made offensive remarks before entering an Asian family's home, stating that Pakistan was a "smelly and dirty" place and that the family's home would be, likewise.

The accused officer's paired colleague, PC Michael Rice told the hearing: "I reminded Perry about wearing a mask [because] we want to be setting an example and following the rules.

"Perry did not particularly buy into the Covid thing and did not care about the restrictions.

"He said 'the house will smell of curry anyway... Pakistan is a dirty, smelly country.'

"The fact that he was making a comment like that so early on [in our working relationship] caused me some concern."

Mr Thomas said: "That comment relates to the unpleasant persecution of the Pakistani community in the 1970s and '80s and this language enables that historical persecution of that community to continue within some sections of the British community.

"This was not misconduct but gross misconduct.

"It is a fundamental value in modern policing that you reflect the community that you serve.

"That is an essential element of the service that a police officer provides to the community."

The tribunal heard that PC Greenhalf also used homophobic slurs to describe a teenage boy, identified only as P, who was well known to police in the area.

Mr Thomas revealed that P had been the victim of child sexual exploitation and had often gone missing.

But when discussing the teenager PC Greenhalf made bigoted, sexualised comments to his colleague, PC Laura Greaves.

She told the hearing: "There was absolutely no need for that. I have met P a number of times because he has been a missing person and he has mental health issues.

"[PC Greenhalf] came across like he never really wanted to be a police officer and he came across like he could say and do whatever he liked and he did not care."

Mr Thomas remarked: "The homophobic language in relation to P is particularly serious. P was a minor who had been identified as being at risk of child sexual exploitation.

"The homophobic language used raises very serious concerns about whether Greenhalf could be trusted to take his policing duties in relation to P seriously.

"It would seriously undermine the public trust and confidence in Thames Valley Police’s commitment to protecting homosexual teenagers from sexual exploitation."

The tribunal heard that this was not the only homophobic slur PC Greenhalf had made while on patrol in public.

Another witness, PC Adey-Butt, told the hearing: "I'm proud to wear this uniform and it makes me angry that someone else who gets to wear this uniform could say a thing like that."

The hearing was told that former PC Greenhalf also aimed homophobic slurs at his own colleagues.

Although not present, Greenhalf denied gross misconduct but Mr Thomas concluded: "It is our position that all the allegations are proven and, taken together, amount to gross misconduct."

The tribunal convicted Greenhalf of all the allegations of homophobic comments he made.

However, they cleared him of making a racist comment about a Pakistani family's house smelling of curry.

The panel found, however, that he had called the country "smelly and dirty".

Greenhalf was convicted of gross misconduct.

The case was adjourned until tomorrow when the panel will decide on sanctions – although these could be largely academic as Greenhalf resigned before he could be brought before the tribunal.

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