General News

Hampshire police face misconduct review after using anti-LGBTQ+ slurs

Rachel Badham October 21, 2020

The serious and organised crime police office in Basingstoke, Hampshire

Six police officers based in Basingstoke, Hampshire underwent a disciplinary hearing on Monday 19 October after they were recorded using homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic and racial slurs. The men in question are detective sergeant Oliver Lage, detective sergeant Gregory Willcox, constable James Oldfield, trainee detective constable Andrew Ferguson, retired detective inspector Tim Ireson and former constable Craig Bannerman. According to HampshireLive, a recording device was planted in the police office after a confidential complaint, and found the police officers in question had been using anti-LGBTQ+ slurs and discriminating against a black colleague.

Recordings heard one officer referring to gay men as ‘queers’ and another calling women ‘sluts’. They were also heard joking about drowning migrants. Jason Beer, a representative of the Hampshire constabulary, attributes the ‘toxic culture’ in the office to a lack of leadership, saying: “The SOCU [serious and organised crime unit] office is in relative isolation to the rest of the force due to the covert nature of their activities. A lack of leadership and supervision appears to have led to a toxic and abhorrent culture developing. A toxic and abhorrent culture is in breach of values and standards of the police service.”

All six officers denied the allegations but Oldfield admitted in interview that jokes made about migrants drowning were “in poor taste”. Hearings are due to continue at the end of the month.