A Jersey police officer is under investigation after apparently using a homophobic slur against a group of youths.
The incident, which happened on 27 May in St Brelade, is captured in mobile phone footage obtained by ITV News and confirmed as genuine by the States of Jersey Police.
It shows a youth asking the male officer why he had just called other youths ‘faggots’.
It is understood the video recording follows an attempt by a group of officers to break up a gathering of youths, at a time when such gatherings were being discouraged during the ‘safe exit’ from lockdown.
Sources say the police officers involved faced verbal, but no physical, provocation.
The conversation plays out as follows:
Youth: “Little faggots? You just called them little faggots.”
Officer: “Yes I did.”
Youth: “That’s discrimination.”
Officer: “How is it? You tell me in your drunken stupid state how that’s discrimination?”
Youth: “I’m not drunk. That’s discrimination.”
Officer: “No it’s not mate. Look up discrimination. If you had a phone.”
Youth: “You just called them faggots and they’re not gay."
In a statement, the States of Jersey Police said:
We were made aware of this footage several weeks ago and although a complaint from the public was not received, we took immediate action and referred it to the Professional Standards Department who are conducting an internal disciplinary investigation.
They continued to say that they wanted to make it clear that they expect staff to behave in a professional manner and they take a strong stance on the use of offensive or inappropriate language. It comes just days after the Chief of Police, Robin Smith, recorded a video to mark the first Children’s Day in Jersey in which he highlighted the importance of respecting young people.
As part of the States of Jersey Police's commitment to young people in Jersey, we have a pledge. So often police in Jersey are seen as enforcing laws. As the chief of States of Jersey Police I want to be seen as supporting young people, not enforcing the law.