Police sergeant ‘targeted women with cruel homophobic, misogynistic remarks’, hearing told

A Derbyshire police sergeant is facing a misconduct hearing after he allegedly complained about “working in an office full of lesbians”, among other misogynistic comments. 

The hearing, which began on Monday (6 December) and is expected to last until Friday (10 December), will see sergeant Darran Clarke answer allegations that his behaviour breached professional standards within policing. 

Clarke allegedly made a number of inappropriate comments while on duty, including: “There are too many women in the office,” and “Why do I have to work in an office full of lesbians?”

An officer, who is not being named, claimed that the sergeant made fun of her weight, but that she “didn’t feel strong enough” to challenge remarks he had made. 

The officer claimed that Clarke made a comment that her bike tyres would need to be “pumped up” before she took it.

She said in the hearing: “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 police sergeant has also been accused of tapping a colleague on her chest and said “good girl” while having a conversation about work. Though the alleged touch was “non-sexual”, the colleague has said that it felt “patronising”. 

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

Clarke has denied all allegations that his behaviour breached professional standards.

Derbyshire Constabulary wrote on its website: “The officer will answer allegations that his conduct amounts to a breach of the Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of ‘Authority, Respect and Courtesy’ and ‘Equality and Diversity’ in that the officer behaved inappropriately towards colleagues who were under his supervision.”

A police officer wears a pride coloured police badge on his uniform. (Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

The hearing comes after an officer was sacked in September after making a number of homophobic and racist Facebook posts. 

Lee Scott, of the Northumbria Police force, was fired after facing six allegations of gross misconduct over Facebook comments concerning George Floyd and rainbow lanyards. 

It was found that Scott mocked a chief constable who took the knee at a Black Lives Matter protest in the wake of Floyd’s death in May 2020. He was also accused of making homophobic remarks about a senior officer for wearing a rainbow lanyard in support of LGBT+ rights. 

“There is no place for hate in our region and certainly not in our police force,” Northumbria’s police and crime commissioner Kim McGuinness said at the time. 

“This officer has let his force, his colleagues and importantly, the communities he was meant to be serving down.”