PC who used racist language will not return to her job

The dismissal of a police constable who used racist language during a night out will stand and she will not be returning to the force, Northumbria Police has confirmed.

Dec 9, 2019
By Paul Jacques

It has successfully challenged the decision of a Police Appeal Tribunal (PAT), which had overturned the dismissal of PC Katie Barratt in March.

The officer was dismissed by Northumbria Police following a misconduct hearing in June last year after her remarks towards staff at a Newcastle takeaway restaurant while off-duty were reported by a colleague.

However, PC Barratt appealed the decision and was reinstated by the PAT, which concluded that although her actions amounted to gross misconduct, they could be addressed with a final written warning and equality and diversity training.

Northumbria Police in turn applied for judicial review to challenge that decision and on Friday (December 6) the judge, who heard the case at the High Court in Leeds last month, ruled “the only reasonable decision on the facts of this case was dismissal”.

He added the misconduct panel was right to take the view that retaining the officer “would seriously undermine the trust and confidence the public have in the organisation and jeopardise the reputation of the police service”.

Northumbria Police Deputy Chief Constable Debbie Ford said: “I want to be absolutely clear that there is no room for racist language in our society – it is completely unacceptable.
“The language used by the officer that night was abhorrent and undermines the values of our organisation.

“This was recognised by a colleague who rightly came forward to report the matter, further reflecting the culture within the force where people can have the confidence to speak up and challenge unacceptable behaviour.

“We were extremely disappointed by the Appeal Tribunal’s decision to reinstate the officer and it was important and right that we challenged this position and I therefore welcome the latest ruling.

“I want to take this opportunity to reassure the public that the actions of this individual are in no way representative of the unwavering professionalism and commitment shown by our officers and staff every single day.”

Northumbria Police had previously been granted a court order to support its position that the officer should not return to work during these latest proceedings or receive the back salary that the PAT directed be paid.

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