A police officer who used racist language in a takeaway during a Christmas night out has been sacked.
PC Katie Barratt admitted using the word p*** at a venue in Newcastle while she was out with colleagues.
Barratt, 22, was sacked following a misconduct hearing by Northumbria Police, Chronicle Live reports.
At the hearing Barratt admitted to using the word p*** when she was at the Spice of Punjab takeaway on Westmorland Road on December 14, 2017.
The 22-year-old, who said she wanted to be a police officer since she was a child, denied using another slur and disputed the accounts of two fellow officers who testified against her.
PC Corey Bradley and PC Alex Downs, who were with her on the night, told the hearing she was intoxicated, unable to walk properly and slurring her words.
Barratt accepts she was drunk but rejected their claims that she was out of control.
The first allegation was that she made racially offensive comments about staff in the takeaway and said f****** n***** and f****** p**** – however Barratt denied this.
It was also alleged that she used the word p*** up to six times. Barratt accepted this in part and claimed she had used the word twice.
She told the hearing that she was not a racist person and had no explanation as to why she had used the offensive term.
The hearing heard the takeaway staff did not hear the comments and there was nobody else in the shop at the time.
The panel, led by Rachel Mangenie, found both allegations proved on Wednesday.
Ms Mangenie said We have concluded that on the balance of probability your conduct amounts to gross misconduct as your behaviour on December 14, 2017, fell far below the standard of professional behaviour and is so serious that dismissal without notice would be justified.
Defending Barratt, Guy Ladenburg said she accepted her behaviour had brought the force into disrepute but insisted her actions were not enough to warrant dismissal.
He said it was an isolated event, quite out of character and that Barratt was of exemplary character.
He added Her remorse has been heartfelt, sincere and profound.
Barratt, who joined the force as a student police constable in 2016 and previously volunteered as a special constable, apologised for her actions and asked the panel not to dismiss her from her dream job.
She said I’m really sorry for what I’ve done. I can’t emphasise how sorry I am. It’s my dream job. It’s all I wanted to do since I was little.
I know the effects racial abuse have on the community. I’m absolutely devastated that I have had that effect on the community.
In the last six months I have had time to reflect on my actions and I will never ever repeat again what happened that night.
She continued I have matured a lot. I don’t go out anymore, I don’t drink. I‘m pleading with you to please give me another chance.
The panel was provided with 21 character references on behalf of Barratt before reaching their conclusion.
Reading out the verdict, Ms Mangenie said The panel concluded the appropriate sanction is dismissal without notice.
This has not been a unanimous decision, we have sympathy for PC Barratt and the situation she finds herself in.
We don’t believe she is inherently racist and this was an out of character incident.
The serious nature of the incident and the public perception can not be underestimated. This issue is highly sensitive and the words used can cause great offence.
Any member of the public hearing such words from a serving police officer would have their confidence in the officer and service diminished.
Detective Superintendent Sav Patsalos, head of Northumbria Police’s professional standards department, said The language used by PC Katie Barratt is wholly unacceptable.
I want to make it absolutely clear that there is no place for this type of language or any other form of racist behaviour within Northumbria Police.
This was recognised by a colleague who rightly came forward to report the comments, reflecting the culture within the Force where people have the confidence to speak up and challenge unacceptable behaviour.
We expect officers and staff to maintain the highest levels of professionalism at all times and as such they must not compromise or damage our strong relationships with the communities we serve.
I want to assure the public that we are committed to taking positive action in those instances where individuals fall below the expected standards of behaviour.
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