Police charged in race case

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The Independent Online
TWO POLICE officers have been charged with disciplinary offences after one of them was accused of using racist language and the other allegedly "warned" a female colleague who complained about the comments not to give evidence.

Both officers have been suspended and charged with discreditable conduct and disobedience after a complaint from a civilian worker about allegedly racist comments made by an off-duty police constable at Thorpe Wood police station bar in Peterborough in February.

Several people are said to have heard the remark, but the woman, who worked behind the bar at the station, made a formal complaint.

The woman, who was said to be "embarrassed, upset and offended", is white and is believed to have ethnic minority relatives. After she lodged a formal complaint another officer, a sergeant, is alleged to have telephoned her in an alleged attempt to dissuade her from attending the disciplinary hearing.

Cambridgeshire police announced yesterday that the two officers would face charges after an inquiry overseen by the Police Complaints Authority. If found guilty, the officers could be sacked.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: "The internal investigation was set up in February this year following a complaint by a female civilian member of staff that an officer made a racist comment while he was off duty at Thorpe Wood police station. That officer was immediately suspended following the allegation.

"A second officer was also suspended during the course of the investigation following allegations that he acted in a discreditable fashion and disobeyed orders by contacting the complainant.

"Both officers will remain suspended until the conclusion of the disciplinary hearing, due to begin at the end of September."