A Northamptonshire Police Officer was cleared of any wrongdoing following a public misconduct hearing yesterday (Tuesday, 9 May).
PC Wishart had faced allegations that during a training course at Police headquarters in June 2016, she made an inappropriate and racist remark about the trainer, to a sergeant who was sat next to her on the course.
The officer gave evidence that while she did make an inappropriate comment, she denied
making any racist remarks.
PC Wishart’s legal representative disputed that she would have made such a comment to a senior officer, whom she did not previously know,in a large room with other people. In addition, she pointed out that no-one else had heard the alleged comments.
In assessing the evidence and the testimony of the sergeant, the chair Mr Shahzad Aziz, said: “There is no motive for him to lie or deceive. We also appreciate the difficulty that he found himself in at the time of the incident.”
The sergeant gave evidence that he believed the comment to be said more out of frustration than malice but that he believed the comment had still been made.
The panel also found that PC Wishart gave an honest recollection of what she believed she had said.
Character witnesses gave evidence on behalf of PC Wishart, that she actively promoted diversity issues and helped BME police officers across the Force.
Giving evidence, PC Wishart, who has been a police officer for almost 14 years, said: “I’m horrified that somebody could think that I would think that way.”
The chair said: “We make clear that it is important that officers who use racist language are reported. The sergeant, honestly and sincerely believed that he had heard PC Wishart use racist language.
However,we find, on balance, that he misheard PC Wishart.
Although we accept that he gave a truthful account of what he believed PC Wishart had said both at the time of the incident and subsequently thereafter, we are not persuaded.
We find the allegations against PC Wishart not proved and the case is dismissed”