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Policeman sacked over racist 'banter' claimed ‘Hitler has never done us any harm’

Mirror logo Mirror 20/04/2019 Ewan Foskett & Rachel Lang

a man wearing a suit and tie: Date: 19 April 2019
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
Pictured: Pc David Alston arriving at his misconduct hearing.
A cop has been sacked for calling a black waitress “fluffy coco angel†and claiming Hitler “has never done any of us any harmâ€Â. 
 PC David Alston’s  racist, sexist and homophobic ‘banter’ was uncovered in a WhatsApp group with his Army Reserve pals called “London Fan Boys†where they also traded extreme porn.
Words: Essex News and Pictures. © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Date: 19 April 2019 Location: Chelmsford, Essex Pictured: Pc David Alston arriving at his misconduct hearing. A cop has been sacked for calling a black waitress “fluffy coco angel†and claiming Hitler “has never done any of us any harmâ€Â. PC David Alston’s racist, sexist and homophobic ‘banter’ was uncovered in a WhatsApp group with his Army Reserve pals called “London Fan Boys†where they also traded extreme porn. Words: Essex News and Pictures. A disgraced police officer has been sacked after racist, sexist, and homophobic WhatsApp "banter" with his Army Reserve pals was exposed.

Former Essex Police response officer PC David Alston was hauled in front of investigators for the messages sent between March and June of 2017.

The WhatsApp group, called "London Fan Boys", was made up of 10 friends who also used the group chat to exchange extreme porn clips.

As well as stating that Hitler “has never done any of us any harm”, ex-PC David Alston referred to “pikey killings trial”  in the group and said that Asians “reproduce like 3/1 compared to us”.

The 31-year-old also called a “hot black chick” in a London bar “umbongo” and “coco angel” when out with friends.

When questioned about his comments, Alston said “fluffy coco angel” was “meant as a compliment” but did not say it to the waitress’ face.

The string of offensive messages sent by the Royal Signals soldier also included: “South Africa?? Don’t they start s------- from like five.”

The ex-signaller also responded to a message from a white African friend, who was saved in his contacts as ‘immigrant’, explaining he was able to vote with: “Classic immigrant wants and takes everything, thinking he can do what he wants.”

a large stone building: Chelmsford Civic Centre where the his hearing was heard © Eastnews Press Agency Chelmsford Civic Centre where the his hearing was heard Other members of the group acknowledged Alston's racist remarks, with a pal stating that “Dave’s your stereotypical copper. He doesn’t like blacks.”

A misconduct panel held in Chelmsford Civic Centre this week heard the messages were discovered after another member of the "London Fan Boys" group was arrested for domestic violence and common assault.

Cops seized the phone and downloaded Alston’s messages after the suspect was arrested.

Alston left the WhatsApp group in September 2017 after resigning from the armed forces.

Stephen Morely, acting for the force, told the panel that as all the members of the group were aware Alston was a serving police officer and that his comments “discredit” the service.

“Police officers are expected to uphold the highest standards both on and off duty," Morely said.

“The officer has fallen well below the standards expected.

“Police officers investigate these types of offences they are not expected to indulge in this language or offences.

“PC Alston is expected to protect society from this type of language and behaviour, not indulge in it.”

The father of one accepted his comments were racist and discriminatory and admitted gross misconduct.

He described them as “a very poor choice of words” and said “I wholeheartedly apologise if I caused any offence”.

He told the panel: “The group itself was friends and work colleagues at the time.

“I didn’t feel at the time to challenge the group, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I didn’t want to alienate anyone in the group.”

Under cross examination about his Hitler comment, Alston said that “I have never met him personally, he died in 1945, I have never met him.

“I don’t come from a Jewish family, I did have a great grandad who fought in the war, but he never did me any harm.”

a view of a house: Braintree Police Station where Alston was based © Eastnews Press Agency Braintree Police Station where Alston was based Despite the litany of WhatsApp messages, mitigation heard that he had never used the language with his police colleagues or shown any prejudice whilst serving the public.

Alston joined the force in 2013 after working as a PCSO and served in the Army Reserve for more than 10 years.

Panel chair Siobhan Goodrich described the group as “casually racist, sexist and homophobic” and said his conduct “fell well below the standards expected of a police officer”.

She added that “the panel has decided it is necessary and proportionate that PC Alston is dismissed without notice.”

Detective Superintendent Dean Chapple, Head of the Essex Police Professional Standards Department, said: “Racism and homophobia is absolutely disgusting and has no place in our society, let alone within the police force.

“His actions, and the views he expressed, have no place in Essex Police.

They damage the relationships we have with minority communities and could discourage people from those communities from reporting crime to us or applying to work for us."

Pictures: News in pictures

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