Officer sacked over ‘shocking’ social media posts

An officer who posted racist, sexist and homophobic comments on Facebook two days after completing equality training has been dismissed.

Jul 27, 2018
By Joe Shine

Police Constable Torson Sharp had already received a verbal warning for his extreme right-wing views when he served as a Police Community Support Officer.

His posts were brought to light after a member of public reported them to Hertfordshire Constabulary.

During a hearing at the force’s headquarters in Welwyn Garden City on Thursday (July 27), PC Sharp admitted uploading a series of posts and comments online but said he did not mean to offend anyone.

The misconduct panel heard he had shared a post by ‘Traditional Britain Group’ about a 20-year-old black man who died after being stopped by officers in east London. He commented: “Nothing of value was lost.”

PC Sharp also shared a Daily Mail article about a plus-size model and wrote: “Fat balloon. If it looks fat, smells fat, it is fat.”

And on another occasion, he said he had no sympathy for a woman who was raped and murdered by a refugee.

One of his Facebook posts came just two days after he had completed his Equality Act training.

The panel heard how PC Sharp had deleted his Facebook account in an effort to hide his actions.

He was dismissed without notice despite having resigned from the force earlier this year.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall said PC Sharp’s behaviour is completely incompatible with a fair and impartial policing service and has potential to cause damage to public relations.

He added: “Hertfordshire Constabulary has high levels of public confidence that have been won by diligent and professional work within our communities for many years.”

“I found the behaviour described to me shocking and completely unbecoming of a police officer.  There is no place in policing for anyone holding and expressing racist, homophobic and sexist views.

“It matters not whether the behaviour was on or off duty as the public rightly expects that police officers will uphold the highest standards of professional behaviour in both their professional and personal lives.

“My only solace is that Sharp had only been a police officer for approximately one year during which he would have spent much of his time under training and close supervision which would have restricted the opportunity for these views and attitudes to influence his service to the public.

“The matters are so severe that I determined that the only appropriate outcome was dismissal without notice.”

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