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‘Racist, sexist homophobic’ police squad secretly taped

MEMBERS of a specialist police unit set up to tackle serious organised crime made sexist, racist and homophobic remarks, a disciplinary hearing was told.

The six officers from Hampshire Police were allegedly snared after covert recording equipment was installed at their headquarters in Basingstoke following an anonymous complaint.

Presenting the case against them, Jason Beer QC said: ‘It was firstly a unit that was sexist — women were referred to as whores, sluts and sugar t***.

‘It was also racist — a black officer is described as a “pavement special”, ie a mixed-breed dog.’

Mr Beer said that the officers were also recorded using derogatory terms for disabled, gay and transgender people.

They suggested that Albanian nationals ‘should be shot or killed with a nerve agent’ and that ‘illegal immigrants deserve the death penalty’. Retired Det Insp Tim Ireson, Det Sgt Oliver Lage, Det Sgt Gregory Willcox, former PC Craig Bannerman, trainee Det Con Andrew Ferguson and PC James Oldfield are accused of breaching professional standards.

Ireson and Willcox are also accused of failing to stop inappropriate behaviour, while Oldfield is accused of attending work after excessive alcohol consumption. Willcox is also alleged to have falsely recorded hours and overtime.

Mr Beer said: ‘This was a specialist police unit that enjoyed relative isolation from the rest of the force due to the sensitive and sometimes covert nature of the work it undertook.

‘It was a unit that was plain nasty, that displayed attitudes towards groups and communities that police officers are called upon to protect.’

The hearing continues.