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Met detective built shrine on Muslim colleague’s desk and considered adding a picture of Shamima Begum

·2-min read
 (File photo)
(File photo)

A Met Police detective built a shrine on a Muslim officer’s desk and considered adding a picture of jihadi bride Shamima Begum in a “highly offensive” attempt at a joke, a tribunal heard.

Detective Sergeant Marc Tuffrey resigned from the force as he faced a series of claims he had bullied and harrassed the junior officer, including sending her sexually charged messages.

The officer, from the North West Command unit, called the woman “sugar-tits”, “chocolate buttons”, “little love kitten”, and “peachy butt” in private messages sent after she joined his team.

In jokes on a work WhatsApp group, Tuffrey “relished presenting an image of himself as outrageous, provocative and pushing at the borders of acceptable behaviour”, a tribunal found.

He made “discriminatory and offensive remarks” aimed at Muslims, women, police officers and the gay community, intending to “intimidate and isolate” his colleague, referred to as Officer A.

The panel ruled last week that he and a colleague had built a “shrine” on the officer’s desk, considering adding an image of Islamic State bride Shamima Begum to the “ill-judged and poorly conceived attempt to make a joke”.

“It was wholly inappropriate and poorly judged,” the Met Police misconduct panel said in its report.

“No thought was given to how Officer A may react — especially as still a new member of the team nor was thought given to how racially offensive this could be perceived by a Muslim officer.

“The fact that there is evidence, unchallenged, that they intended to use an image of Shamima Begum is a concern for the panel — it is capable of being seen as a deliberate attempt to equate Muslims as terrorists.

“There can be no doubt in this panel’s view that such a plan would have been seen by Officer A to be offensive, racially discriminatory and potentially intimidating.”

The incidents happened between October 2018 and September 2019, with Tuffrey attempting to explain his behaviour as badly judged humour.

But the panel found there were more “sinister” motives, saying: “His conduct has no place in the modern police service — it has had an appalling effect upon the target of his actions — Officer A.

“The conduct involved in this case is not only discriminatory and harassing but also in our opinion amounts to bullying. It was clearly targeted.”

The panel concluded, in a private misconduct hearing, that Tuffrey would have been sacked had he not already resigned.

Commander Paul Betts of the Directorate of Professional Standards said: “This type of behaviour has absolutely no place within the Met.

These offences are a blatant abuse of the trust his position as a police officer and a supervisor afforded Marc Tuffrey.

The Met will be extremely disappointed at these disgraceful actions.”

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