“WE are committed to tackling all forms of racism,” said a deputy chief constable of police after a ‘racist’ police officer was sacked for making a ‘foul’ joke.

Deputy Chief Constable for Thames Valley Police Ben Snuggs has released a statement after a High Court judge upheld the force’s decision to fire a probationary police constable after he made a racist joke.

Nicholas Barnes, who with the force from January 7, 2019 until discharge on June 2, 2021, was sacked after making a racist joke on April 15, 2020 to his colleagues at High Wycombe police station.

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Several of his colleagues reported the matter to a police sergeant and an investigation commenced on May 4.

He was later dismissed but launched a legal case challenging his dismissal, stating the decision was ‘unlawful, irrational and unfair’.

However, in a decision published on Friday, November 3 by the High Court of Justice, Judge Nicholas Lavender dismissed the application for a judicial review, stating he did not find it ‘unfair or irrational’ for the defendant to ‘express himself’ as he did.

DCC Snuggs has released a statement since the publication of the report, welcoming the judge’s decision and reiterating that racism will not be tolerated.

He said: “We welcome that the High Court has upheld the right of a police force to decide whether probationary officers are suitable to continue in their service.

“We will continue to investigate and hold to account officers and staff who do not meet the high standards expected of them as public servants.

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“This former officer told an appalling racist ‘joke’ to a group of colleagues – behaviour which has no place in policing or society.

“As a force, we are committed to tackling all forms of racism and to build trust within our communities.

“This starts with using the powers available to us to remove anyone from our organisation who uses racist language or feels it acceptable to be racist.

“We will continue in our work to represent our communities, treating them fairly and with respect, and to make our force anti-racist, anti-discriminatory and inclusive for all.”

Speaking previously during the misconduct panel, Barnes said: “This experience has left me deeply humbled and has been a steep learning curve for me.

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“I have learnt more than ever the importance of being politically correct and sensitive in all situations and that there are no safe places or times to use unacceptable language such as I did”.