A DEVON and Cornwall Police officer, PC Helen Taylor, has been dismissed for gross misconduct following a disciplinary hearing which concluded on Tuesday, April 30. 

The panel, led by independent legally qualified chair Ms Nicola Haywood, found that the officer’s behaviour had fallen below the expected standards of professional behaviour in respect of equality and diversity; authority, respect and courtesy; and discreditable conduct.

It had been alleged that on May 4, 2023, in the presence of a number of colleagues within a police station, the officer used racist, offensive and discriminatory language towards an officer of colour.

Following a public hearing held in Exeter, the panel concluded that the allegation was proven and the disciplined officer’s actions represented gross misconduct.

It was determined that the officer would be dismissed without notice.

The officer’s details will be submitted to the College of Policing Barred List, preventing them from working within policing.

The panel concluded that the decision was reached in large part because of the critical need to uphold public confidence in Devon and Cornwall Police.

Dismissal was found to be required to underline that such language and behaviour will not be tolerated.

It was also necessary to maintain public confidence in the fact that principles of equality and diversity will be fostered and protected by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Both officers and the wider public should be aware of the firm and unwavering commitment of the force to deal with such behaviour.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thorne said: “Racist, discriminatory language or behaviour of any kind is unacceptable and goes against our values.

“We continue to offer full support to the officer who was subject to these unacceptable and offensive comments.

"Devon and Cornwall Police is committed to being an open and inclusive organisation with equality and diversity key to maintaining the confidence of our communities.

“We expect all our officers and staff to adhere to the highest standards of behaviour, both on and off duty."