COMPLAINTS made about Hampshire Constabulary officers and staff about racism have increased by 50 per cent in a year, the Gazette can reveal.

However, none of the 61 complaints made about officers and staff last year were upheld by the force.

The Gazette submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Hampshire Constabulary, asking how many racism complaints were made against officers and staff, from both members of the public and other staff, in the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 to date.

In 2018, 42 complaints about racism were made, rising to 61 in 2019. Up until June this year, there have been 35.

None of these have been upheld, resulting in no further action being taken.

The Gazette also asked for a random selection of 25 racism complaints made, with a summary of each of the allegations.

However, the force said it did not hold this information.

A previous FOI request submitted to Hampshire Constabulary regarding complaints about racism shows that there were 23 in 2015, 16 in 2016 and 19 in 2017.

In 2015, three of these resulted in a ‘case to answer outcome’; two in 2016; and 1 in 2017.

The FOI request also revealed that a detention officer for Hampshire Constabulary was dismissed following a racism complaint, while a police constable and PCSO resigned following racism complaints.

Hampshire Constabulary said: “There are a number of reasons why the numbers have increased, for example we have invested greatly in ensuring we record incidents and allegations more accurately in all areas of force and provided increased training in awareness for supervisors.

“Hampshire Constabulary is clear that discriminatory behaviour or language will not be tolerated within our force, and any complaint received by the public will be investigated fairly and effectively.”

Eight Basingstoke police officers are currently awaiting a gross misconduct hearing after allegedly making ‘racist and homophobic’ remarks.

As previously reported in the Gazette last October, the eight officers face gross misconduct hearings over alleged inappropriate and prejudiced behaviour, following a 17-month investigation into claims by a force employee.

The employee claims that officers within its serious and organised crime unit used “inappropriate and prejudiced” language and behaviour.

Sky News reported that covert recording devices at the Police Investigation Centre in Basingstoke allegedly caught officers making racist and homophobic remarks.

Hampshire Constabulary previously said that one police officer who would have been reprimanded for their behaviour resigned over the issue.

Hampshire Constabulary told the Gazette in June that the hearings, which will be chaired by an independent legally qualified chair, have been delayed because of the pandemic.

The force was working towards a date in April, which was subject to legal discussions, but it is now expected to take place later this year.

Hampshire Constabulary said it will publish the date of the public hearing on its website once it has been set.