Ex-police officer who called Gary Lineker a ‘c***’ is banned from force
22nd November 2019

A former police officer who called Gary Lineker a "c***" and ranted about immigrants on Twitter has been barred for life from a force.

Dad-of-one Edward Pitt also commented on sensitive topics such as the Grenfell Tower fire, the Christchurch terror attack, the Windrush petition and a horror crash that killed six people in Birmingham.

The former Pc was found guilty of gross misconduct and put on the "barred" list over a series of tweets which were "interpreted as racist and sexist", BirminghamLive reports.

He would have been sacked by West Midlands Police following the verdict at a misconduct hearing on Wednesday, but he had already quit.

The hearing was held following a complaint from a member of the public about 12 of his 6,000 tweets.

Pitts tweets – posted between June 2017 and December 2018 – were deemed to be "evidence of discrimination on the basis of race, religion and sex" during the hearing.

After Lineker expressed his support for remaining in the EU, Pitt brought up the "traumatic" premature birth of his son, tweeting: "Can't wait until March so this condescending c*** shuts the f*** up.

"Living in millionaire's row clearly never been on an NHS ward where you can't get a bed when the place is full of Romanians who have never contributed."

In another tweet he hit out at an investigation into right-wing extremist Tommy Robinson.

After the terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, he shared an article about Australia's immigration rules, writing: "How many terrorist attacks have you had again? We can gladly swap Governments if you like."

When he wrote about the Windrush petition he retweeted comedian and actor Sir Lenny Henry, writing "Firstly, sign the ting".

It was interpreted as a racist comment against the Caribbean community, but Pitt claimed "ting" was a "well-known phrase" used by young people.

Sharing footage of a camel being slaughtered with machetes during the Muslim festival of Eid, he wrote: "Religion of peace."

Pitt also shared an article which stated a driver involved in the horror crash in Birmingham had been demonised for being Asian. He wrote: "For f*** sake, not because of anything else no?"

One of his tweets was about rapper Nicki Minaj, but he claimed it was intended to be "tongue-in-cheek" with his wife.

In December, he complained that his son's nursery wasn't shut after heavy snowfall, writing that he was "banking on a couple of [paid] snow days off work".

When he shared video of a violent attack against a child, he wrote: "If I was sitting in that waiting room I would f*** that geezer up no questions asked. Scum."

But he claimed he would never follow through with such violence, the hearing was told.

Mr Walsh, prosecuting said of that tweet: "This certainly gives the impression that you approve of the use of violence in certain situations."

Pitt admitted that he wrote and posted the tweets, and said he was regretful.

It was claimed three tweets were posted while he was on duty, but he denied that and claimed he had been on a break.

Pitt kept his account private to his 150 followers, but made it public during football matches, including a derby between Aston Villa and Birmingham City, to interact with fellow fans.

His account never mentioned he was a police officer and his profile photo featured him and his son.

He said: "I guess in my own time and private life I treat that as such. I try not to bring work into my private life as I try not to bring my private life to work."

Harry Ireland, chairing the misconduct hearing, said: "PC Pitt had failed to read the force's policy [on social media]. No doubt that the tweets seriously affect the public's confidence in the police.

"The content of the tweets were interpreted as racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. 

"The standards of professional behaviour have been breached and this amounts to gross misconduct. 

"We find the conduct was intentional – with clear evidence of discrimination on the basis of race, religion and sex. 

"It was premeditated and sustained over a long period of time. 

"Although there is evidence of remorse, we have to maintain public confidence in the police and the only sanction available would have been dismissal without notice, had he still been a police officer. 

"We are grateful this was brought to our attention, and once again we would ask that every officer – regardless of rank – is made aware of the dangers of misuse of social media."

West Midlands Police said: "People working for West Midlands Police must always practice the high standards that the public expect both on and off duty. 

"It is clear this officer has fallen far below that standard. All forms of discriminatory behaviour and conduct are completely inexcusable and former constable Pitt will now be placed on the barred list." 

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