Croydon police officer who used 'Romanian' jibe at colleague fired from the Met

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

A Croydon police officer who called his colleague a “daft Romanian c**t” while trying to help her with her computer has been sacked from the force.

A misconduct panel heard that PC Huw Harris, a response officer at Croydon Police Station, made the remark to PC Oana Girboan on September 6 2022 while she was struggling with technology.

When she said she would complain about the comments, he responded: “No one is going to believe you.”

In mitigation, PC Harris told the panel the comment was an ill-judged attempt at humour, and that he was genuinely remorseful.

He said that the pair had worked together well and that other members of the team, but not PC Girboan, had previously jokingly called him a “posh” or “Welsh c**t.”

Ruling, the panel said: “PC Harris made that comment on the spur of the moment, without any real consideration of what he was going to say.

“However, the Panel also found that in view of his training as a police officer and his apparent awareness that such a comment would amount to offensive, racist language, he should have stopped himself from using such language, however spontaneous.”

It added that while profanities were common at Croydon Police Station, including the use of the word “c**t”, the “racist slur” was “particularly offensive.”

The hearing was told that PC Girboan had been served with disciplinary papers over alleged comments to PC Harris.

While not making any findings on those allegations, the panel found that the claim had “little relevance where PC Harris had admitted to using offensive, discriminatory language.”

The officer, who served in the Met Police since 2018, was dismissed without notice.

The panel said the decision was a matter of “great regret”, as it had heard evidence attesting to his “clear qualities” as a police officer, but that a lesser sanction would undermine confidence in policing.