17th May 2019

A Police misconduct hearing took place between 15 April 2019 and 18 April 2019 for P.C. David Alston. Following the hearing he was dismissed from Essex Police Force without notice.

The issue came to light after a member of a WhatsApp group was arrested for domestic violence and common assault.  Police seized the phone and downloaded messages.  P.C. David Alston was a member of the group which exchanged racist, sexist and homophobic comments.

The Officer said Asians “reproduce by three/one compared to u”.  He described a black waitress working in a London bar as an “umbongo” when out with friends.  When discussing Adolf Hitler Alston wrote “he has never done any of us any harm”.

Alston accepted his comments were racist and discriminatory and admitted gross misconduct.  It is reported when cross examined about his Adolf Hitler remark Alston said “I have never met him personally, he died in 1945, I have never met him.  I do not come from a Jewish family, I did have a great grandad who fought in the war, but he never did me any harm”.

Essex Police’s Professional Standards Department said “all Police Officers are responsible for their own actions and we cannot just turn off those standards and values in policing when it suits given environment or group”.

Blog by Richard Hardy, Partner