Police officer dismissed following misconduct hearing

A serving police officer has been dismissed without notice after allegations of gross misconduct were found proven following the conclusion of a hearing on Friday, 7 May.

The hearing found that the conduct of Detective Sergeant Neil Buckmaster, attached to the South Area Command Unit, breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of ‘equality and diversity’, and ‘authority, respect and courtesy’.

During the hearing, evidence was presented that said DS Buckmaster had used bespoke, racially offensive names for avatars he was using while playing a football game on a computer console. Footage of the game, including the names attributed to both the team and players assigned to DS Buckmaster’s user ID, were also uploaded to a video platform.

An investigation was launched following receipt of a public complaint.

The independent legally qualified chair took the decision to hold the hearing in private to protect the welfare and anonymity of people referred to in the case but not involved.

DS Buckmaster’s conduct was found to have amounted to gross misconduct and he was dismissed at the conclusion of the four-day hearing.

Commander Paul Betts, Professionalism, said:

“Racism and discrimination in any form has absolutely no place at all in the Metropolitan Police Service, whether an officer is on or off duty. To see this example of someone using it so casually is offensive and utterly unacceptable. I know his former colleagues will feel exceptionally let down by his behaviour, as do I.

“Former DS Buckmaster’s conduct fell well below what is expected of our officers and staff, and by its nature can undermine trust and confidence in policing. I hope our communities will appreciate that the matter was reported and thoroughly investigated, and that following a rigorous examination of all the available evidence, he has rightfully been dismissed. Former DS Buckmaster will also be placed on the ‘Police Barred List’ preventing future employment elsewhere in policing.”

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