Policeman dismissed for bullying and racism

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A POLICE sergeant has been booted out of the force over allegations of bullying and making racist remarks, The Observer can exclusively reveal.

Matthew Presland, 40, was dismissed from his role at Hastings Police Station after a disciplinary hearing found him guilty of making inappropriate comments and behaving inappropriately.

It is the second disciplinary matter to rock the station in less than a year after chief inspector Mark Ling was found guilty of sending a racist text message.

Ling was allowed to stay in the force but moved to Eastbourne where he was placed into a crime management role last December.

The Observer has learned the case against Presland involved allegations of bullying colleagues and making racist comments.

But when contacted Presland declined to comment on his case.

He said: “I can’t comment at the moment but I am appealing against the decision.

“I am speaking to a solicitor about it.”

A statement by Sussex Police spokesman, Andy Freeman, read: “A 40-year-old police sergeant, based on the neighbourhood response team in East Sussex, has been dismissed from Sussex Police after a disciplinary hearing found him guilty of making inappropriate comments to an officer on two occasions and of inappropriate behaviour to an officer.

“The sergeant, who primarily worked in Hastings, had been suspended from his post since February.

He appeared before a disciplinary hearing on June 28 and was dismissed without notice.”

Brighton-born Presland was first based in the Seaford and Hailsham area.

It is believed he moved to Hastings following his promotion to sergeant in the last few years.

He married around three years ago and does not have any children.

Presland’s father Leslie said he was shocked by the allegations.

Speaking from his home in Lancing, the 73-year-old retired transport manager, said: “The last time I spoke to Matthew he seemed philosophical.

“He phoned me to say he had been in a disciplinary hearing and he had been dismissed. He was upset. He said somebody had said something but I never asked.

“I am surprised that he has lost his job.

“When I was working you used to get verbal warnings, written warnings and one-to-ones before you lost your job.

“I don’t think it was fair.

“It’s a shock to him. I would not class him as a bully. I have never heard him making racist comments to me.

“None of my boys are racist. Matthew is definitely not a bully.”

Chief superintendent Robin Smith. divisional commander for East Sussex, said: “Sussex Police expects the highest personal and professional standards from anyone who works for us.

“We will rigorously investigate any incidents where these standards are not maintained and as in this case, we will take action to ensure the integrity of officers and staff.”