September 29, 2023

Police officer sacked for ‘clearly racist’ language during search

PC Dean Lawrence also said his dad would be "made up" his first stop and search was of an Asian man

A rookie Merseyside Police Constable has been sacked after using “clearly racist” and “appalling” language while he stopped and searched a suspect for the first time.

Newly qualified Constable Dean Lawrence used a racial slur earlier this year and was placed on then the College of Policing Barred List.

A police misconduct hearing heard Lawrence referred to a member of the public as a “p***” while on duty.

He also said “my old man will be made up” that his first stop and search was of an Asian man.

Chief Constable Andrew Cooke said: “The behaviour of Lawrence cannot be tolerated in policing. I note his explanation and his shame, but his comments were clearly racist.”

Lawrence was on patrol with a colleague on August 14, 2020, before he stopped and searched a man on suspicion of drug offences.

The outcome of the hearing was published on December 1.

Although the racial language used was redacted, Vinny Tomlinson, former chair of Merseyside Black Police Association, attended the hearing.

He told the ECHO: “I attended the misconduct hearing of former PC Dean Lawrence at Merseyside Police HQ (as a private citizen) on 18th November 2020.

“He used racist language to a colleague, after stopping an Asian man on Molyneux Road in August 2020. Though absent, he admitted this in previous statements.

“The officer was still in his probation, having only joined Merseyside Police in February 2020. After the stop (which was his first) and whilst discussing whether all the correct procedures had been adhered to, the officer stated to a colleague: ‘It was a little p***, my old man will be made up”.

Mr Tomlinson said Lawrence’s colleague, another PC on duty, reported the racist language to their supervisor.

He added: “I commend [the Constable] for doing what others may not have done and escalated this in order to ensure Lawrence was held accountable.”

Chief Constable Cooke said the public would be appalled by Lawrence’s language.

Dismissing him for Gross Misconduct, he said: “I have noted the record of service and personal circumstances of the ex-officer. The officer has resigned, had he not done so, he would have been dismissed without notice for breaches of Equality and Diversity, Discreditable Conduct and Authority, Respect & Courtesy.

“Like myself, the vast majority of the general public would be rightly appalled by his comments, which damage the reputation of policing. He is to be placed on the college of policing Barred List.”

A spokeswoman for Merseyside Police confirmed Lawrence was formally dismissed at a fast-track misconduct hearing on November 18.

The hearing found Lawrence, who had resigned from the force, breached standards of professional behaviour which amounted to gross misconduct.

Chief Superintendent Peter Costello, head of the force’s Professional Standards Department, said: “We demand the highest possible standards from all our officers and staff. The public quite rightly have high expectations of our officers and Merseyside Police is committed to ensuring we meet those expectations.

“When we receive information about those alleged to have fallen below those standards, we will always thoroughly investigate to ensure the public can continue to have the utmost confidence in the force.

“We will not allow individuals to damage the good name built up by the vast majority of our officers who do an exemplary job and serve our communities with compassion, integrity and professionalism.

“We will not have officers and staff working for us who do not uphold the highest levels of professionalism, courtesy and respect.”

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