• Monday, October 02, 2023


Indian-born police officer accused of misconduct after complaint about “racist” toy

The officer began legal proceedings against the Met following the incident.

By: ReenaKumar

An Indian-born police officer who raised concerns about a “racist” toy monkey at work was accused of gross misconduct, according to the BBC.

The officer reported seeing the black toy animal wearing an policeman’s shirt at Belgravia police station in central London.

However the detective was investigated for making the story up after senior staff promised to look into the incident.

He was later cleared at a misconduct hearing and received damages from the Met Police after taking legal action.

The details emerged after a separate case at Thames Valley Police in which an officer put a monkey on a black colleague’s desk.

A misconduct panel which concluded last month ruled that Detective Seargent Andrew Mottau was not being racist but should have realised the toy animal could be offensive.

The case involving the Met began in September 2013 when the detective constable claimed to have seen a large monkey toy in the office of the Case Progression Unit at Belgravia police station.

He said the stuffed black toy had a police officer’s shirt on and a label saying “night-duty ERO” – Evidential Review Officer. One of the EROs at the time was a black police officer.

He raised his concerns that the toy was racist during a live internal website chat known as the “Commissioner’s Forum”, where staff are encouraged to discuss problems with the Met Commissioner, who at the time was Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

The detective received an online reply saying: “What is described – if accurate – is unacceptable” and was told that it would be looked into “immediately”.

Just one month later, the detective himself was put under investigation for allegedly posting “untrue and potentially inflammatory comments”.

He was told his actions had “breached the standards of professional behaviour… relating to “honesty and integrity” and “discreditable conduct”, claims which, if proved, could have led to his dismissal.

Following internal disciplinary proceedings, the officer attended a gross misconduct hearing where it was ruled there was “no case to answer” and he was cleared in June 2015.

Paul Turpin, who was a representative for the Metropolitan Police Federation and supported the officer through the process, said: “I was surprised when the matter was referred to a gross misconduct hearing and was not surprised when that hearing found the officer had no case to answer. Matters should be dealt with at the lowest appropriate level at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Scotland Yard said there had been an internal review of the handling of the case after the hearing.

It said the original allegation about the monkey had been “investigated locally and progressed as far as it could be”, though the inquiry was unable to establish who had placed the black toy animal in the police station.

The Asian detective, who was not named by the BBC, began legal proceedings against the Met at an employment tribunal alleging he had been racially discriminated against and victimised.

But before a full hearing took place the force reached a settlement and agreed to pay damages. The amount of compensation is thought to be in the region of £35,000.

The Met confirmed a settlement had been reached “following judicial mediation” at the Tribunal Services in March 2016.

Related Stories