Tuesday, February 27, 2024

UK cop convicted of gross misconduct for mimicking woman’s Indian accent


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Shillong, November 27: A policeman has been convicted of gross misconduct in the UK for mimicking the Indian accent of a woman who had called to report a hate crime incident in November 2022.

Police Constable Patrick Harrison resigned from the West Yorkshire Police prior to a judgement by a misconduct panel, which ruled that his discriminatory actions “de-humanised” the caller, The Daily Mirror reported.

The panel heard that following the phone conversation between Harrison and the woman, the former imitated some of the phrases the caller had used, without realising that she was still on the phone line.

The woman heard these comments and reported Harrison to Islamophobia monitoring group, Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), a national project recording anti-Muslim incidents across the UK.

Harrison admitted his ‘unacceptable and inexcusable’ behaviour and accepted it breached the standards of professional conduct and amounted to gross misconduct.

Panel chair Katherine Wood said if Harrison hadn’t resigned, he would have been dismissed from the force for his “deliberate, conscious discrimination”.

Wood ruled that Harrison had discriminated against the woman caller due to her race, adding: “Racism and Islamophobia within the police are issues of significant national concern. Had the former officer not already tendered his resignation, (the panel) would have recommended his immediate dismissal from the service,” The Mirror reported.

Harrison told the panel that he was remorseful for his actions and offered to meet with the caller to apologise in person.

The panel heard that the officer’s actions had caused ‘psychological distress’ to the woman, and had resulted in her ‘loss of trust and confidence’ in the police.

“The behaviour of the former officer is so serious and the impact that it has had on SA (the caller) and the confidence of the public as a whole is such that no lesser sanction would be justified… Harrison has engaged in behaviour which breaches the standard of professional behaviour relating to Authority, Respect and Courtesy and Equality and Diversity. We are satisfied that (his actions) amount to gross misconduct,” Wood said. (IANS)


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