Sunday, 22 March 2009

No comment -- kinda

A serving police officer named in a leaked list of British National Party (BNP) members has been sacked.

Pc Steve Bettley, of Merseyside Police, was included in the list of the far right party's entire membership register which was leaked on an internet blog.

The officer, who was briefly the driver for chief constable Bernard Hogan Howe, has been suspended from duty since the list became public last November.

A Merseyside Police spokeswoman said: "A Merseyside Police misconduct panel has dismissed Constable Steve Bettley after concluding he had knowingly been a member of the British National Party from March 2007 and up to March 2008."

The spokeswoman added: "In determining their findings, the panel confirmed there was no evidence that Pc Bettley had ever displayed any racist views or discriminatory behaviour in the workplace.

"The panel determined that Pc Bettley's membership of the BNP is a clear breach of lawful orders and police regulations as the party's views are incompatible with the duties and values of the Police Service."

A ban on serving police officers joining the BNP was introduced by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) in 2004.

Merseyside Police Federation, which represented Pc Bettley at the misconduct hearings, said he accepted his name was on the BNP list but he denied being a member of the party.

He said he was enrolled in the party by a family member without his knowledge and he planned to appeal against the dismissal.

A spokesman for Merseyside Police Federation said: "We are disappointed with the finding and sanction of the misconduct panel and do not believe that there is any evidence presented to the panel which would indicate that he was knowingly a member of the BNP."

Nothing to say that he signed himself up for the BNP, no evidence of racist tendencies, but just having your name on the list is enough to cost you your job. Even a policeman doesn't deserve this!


Angry Exile said...

Even if he was knowingly a member it's disturbing that it's a sacking offence/bar to employment. BNP might not stand for Bloody Nice Party and may have some proper bastards in it, but it's not Al-Qaeda or anything. It's a legally recognized political party. I can't imagine I'd vote for them this side of the end of the universe but if the government are going to accept it as a legal party then it shouldn't be a sacking offence to join it, no matter what the job. Alternatively they should simply come out and say "fuck free speech, the BNP is now banned". Hmm, a year to go, I suppose they still might.

JuliaM said...

"It's a legally recognized political party."

And one that's probably gained a few thousand more votes as a result of this.

Spectacular own goal, Home Office....

Chalcedon said...

Since when has a private company, ACPO made up the rules for the whole police force?

How come officers can also be members of proscribed Islamic groups and not get sacked?

Rush-is-Right said...

His mistake was not joining the Masons as well.

Sparticus said...

And what will the public sector feel when some future administration dismisses people for belonging to the Labour Party?

Since they show,in for example the BBC, that they allow their politics to influence their every judgement I assume they will all go quietly when they are fired.

First they came for the jews. I did not speak out. I was not one of them...

Rational Anarchist said...

is there anything to stop us signing up a bunch of other high ranking officers then sending proof of their membership to the police?

Hypothetically speaking, of course...

Obnoxio The Clown said...

is there anything to stop us signing up a bunch of other high ranking officers then sending proof of their membership to the police?

Gosh. And maybe Gordon Brown, Jack Straw, Jacqui Smith and Hattie Harperson as well. That would be embarrassing, wouldn't it?