A serious investigation has been launched into the conduct of two Sussex police officers after allegations of racial abuse and the misuse of police computers.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has begun an investigation into a senior Sussex police officer and one other officer following allegations about their behaviour while off-duty in Eastbourne.
It is alleged that on September 5 the two officers were argumentative with two different taxi drivers and one officer made threats to have the taxi licence removed from one of them.
During the subsequent journey home it is alleged that the senior officer made racist and offensive remarks to a taxi driver who subsequently complained to Sussex Police.
The investigation will also consider the alleged accessing of police information by the one of the officers following the incident and if this was appropriate and authorised.
The senior officer has been notified the IPCC is considering criminal matters in relation to the offences for public order offences.
The other officer has been notified that the IPCC is considering criminal matters in relation to offences committed under the Data Protection Act and the Computer Misuse Act, and is also under investigation for failing to adequately challenge and report the improper conduct of the other officer.
The IPCC will now conduct an independent investigation into the behaviour of both officers following a referral from Sussex Police.
Following a request from the IPCC, Sussex Police has suspended the officer with allegations of racist and offensive behaviour against them for the duration of the investigation, owing to their seniority and the seriousness of the alleged offences.
IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said, “That a senior officer has been accused of such serious and criminal misconduct in a public setting and racist behaviour towards a member of the public is of significant concern and it is therefore appropriate that the IPCC provides independent oversight of this investigation.”
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