Grimsby
December 11, 2020 2.45 pm

Police chief inspector fired after ‘choc ice’ racism

After a two-day misconduct hearing

A Police Chief Inspector at Humberside Police has been dismissed without notice for using racist language after he called a black colleague a ‘choc ice’.

Detective Chief Inspector Stewart Miller of Humberside Police was in the manager’s office at the Birchin Way police station in Grimsby on June 8 this year.

He was approached by a Detective Inspector for advice in relation to a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) police officer in the force and the guidelines of working from home during COVID.

According to the misconduct hearing listing, Chief Inspector Miller commented, referring to an officer, in the following or similar terms: “[He] isn’t fat or diabetic and has a good job so doesn’t fit in to the category, in fact he is as close to white as he can be, in fact he’s a choc ice” and/or “[he] is probably more white and middle class than I am”.

A misconduct hearing was held on Thursday and Friday, December 10 and 11 at the old Magistrates Building on Estcourt Terrace in Goole.

An independent panel, led by a legally qualified chair, heard that DCI Miller had referred to a black colleague using racist language. He was immediately suspended and an internal investigation was carried out.

His actions were found to have amounted to a breach of the standards of professional behaviour relating to discreditable conduct and equality and diversity.

DCI Miller said on the first day of the hearing that he “deeply regretted” using the particular phrase while on duty and did not deny using it at a police station, but claimed he did not know the term was offensive, according to the BBC.

He also denied his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct or misconduct.

Detective Superintendent Matthew Baldwin, from the Professional Standards Department, said: “There is no place for this kind of disrespectful language or attitude in modern policing and we will not tolerate it from any member of staff.

“We are proud to say that the overwhelming majority of our officers and staff value diversity and inclusion and celebrate the wide variety of different cultures and backgrounds which make up our communities.

“This case clearly demonstrates that our officers and staff will not accept this kind of language and will confront and deal with it, if they hear it.

“It’s vitally important to us that the communities we serve know that they will be treated with courtesy and respect whatever their background and that if we find that any officer or staff member is falling short of that standard, they will be severely dealt with.”

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