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Derbyshire cop at centre of misconduct hearing over series of alleged remarks

A Derbyshire police sergeant is at the centre of a misconduct hearing over a series of alleged inappropriate remarks he has made about women, lesbians and his colleagues.

Sgt Darran Clarke is alleged to have tapped a colleague on her chest and said to her “good girl” while having a conversation about a work task sometime between August 2019 and July 2020.

It is also alleged Sgt Clarke invited the same officer into a male locker room, for which she declined.

The misconduct hearing will also examine whether or not Sgt Clarke made a number of inappropriate comments while on duty.

Other allegations against Sgt Clarke are that he once said: “There are too many women in the office” and “Why do I have to work in an office full of lesbians?”

Another allegation claims he referred to a lesbian colleague as a “rainbow warrior”.

It is also alleged how the officer “belittled” a number of his colleagues under his supervision with inappropriate remarks.

One such comment, it is claimed, was made to make fun of a colleague’s weight.

The hearing is scheduled to last for five days.

Sgt Clarke will answer allegations that his behaviour amounts to gross misconduct and breaches professional standards within policing.

An independent panel, led by chair Jayne Salt, will decide over the coming days whether or not the allegations are proven to be true and, if so, amount to gross misconduct.

Sgt Clarke denies all alleged breaches of the professional standards for policing.

The first day of the hearing heard evidence from a witness who claims she was touched inappropriately on the chest but not in a sexual way.

She said: “I was in the corridor. After asking if I sorted the papers out, I said ‘yes’. He (Sgt Clarke) then leant forwards towards me and patted me with the back of his hand on my chest, then said ‘good girl’.

“It was definitely patronising and it made me feel uncomfortable.”

An officer, who is not being named, cried throughout giving evidence and claimed Sgt Clarke was making fun of her weight.

It is alleged the sergeant made a remark stating the tyres of a bike being used by the officer needed to be “pumped up” before she took it.

The officer said: “I was offended by the comment. I had previous background with my problems with the sergeant. It was delivered in a way that because of my weight the tyres would need pumping up. It was in a room full of other people and I took it to be that I was quite weighty.”

The officer also claimed she heard the sergeant say “Why do I have to work in an office full of lesbians?” but stated he said it to himself quietly and not to anyone.

The hearing heard how the officer “didn’t feel strong enough” to challenge the remark.

She also denied allegations that she was “over-sensitive” when hearing things.

The misconduct hearing continues.

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