The Facebook post which led to Barrow PC's sacking

SHARE THIS STORY
Facebook: Post led to officer losing their job
Facebook: Post led to officer losing their job
10 October 2017 6:06PM

A FACEBOOK post which led to a serving police officer losing his job for gross misconduct can finally be revealed.

Ross Lister had been a serving PC in Barrow for around three years when he was dismissed following a misconduct hearing held on September 27 at Cumbria Constabulary headquarters.

Details of the comment were not made public while the Crown Prosecution Service considered whether Mr Lister should be charged with an offence of posting malicious communications.

Last week, prosecutors announced that "the comment made on social media does not meet the very high threshold necessary for a criminal prosecution" following a further review of the evidence.

PC Lister has exhibited a very serious failure of judgement... damaged the reputation of the constabulary and undermined public confidence CHIEF CONSTABLE

The Mail has now obtained further detail about the officer's Facebook post.

On a post about terrorists and in response to one comment about consequences, former PC Lister wrote: "What? Wrap them in bacon?"

Muslims are prohibited from consuming pork. Although the Qur'an does not specifically state why such a prohibition is made, some believe it is because pigs are seen as scavengers and because of reported health implications based on the living conditions of the animals.

The prohibition of pork in Islam is derived from the following verse of the Qur’an: "Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah."

The Mail understands the comment was deleted two days later but someone had reporter Mr Lister's post to police bosses.

Cumbria police's Chief Constable Jerry Graham's deliberation in deciding to sack Mr Lister was made public in response to the CPS decision not to charge him.

The chief constable said: "The conduct admitted by PC Lister today is not suggesting that he is racist, per se, but refers to a Facebook post that he wrote that he either knew or should have known, or at least reasonably have foreseen, would have caused offence and be considered derogatory to members of the Muslim faith and by people of other faiths and none.

"By posting such a comment on Facebook he should have known that he could not control its readership.

"Although this conduct occurred off duty, PC Lister was, or should have been, aware that the Code of Ethics applies at all times and in all circumstances to police officers. I note that within the bundle PC Lister has been given an input on the Code of Ethics as recently as 2017.

"The communities of Cumbria expect officers and staff to act on their behalf with integrity, fairness and judgement. The trust of local communities, particularly minority groups, is hard won and easily lost.

"Officers and staff need to demonstrate a higher level of even temperament and respond more proportionately than other members of the public, particularly at times of social stress and anxiety.

"Regrettably, PC Lister has exhibited a very serious failure of judgement by posting such a comment without considering the potential impact on how people may perceive him and his judgement and fairness.

"In doing so he has damaged the reputation of the constabulary and undermined public confidence.

"PC Lister’s behaviour and judgement has fallen so far below the standards expected that I have decided to dismiss him from the constabulary without notice."

Comment on this article

Generate a new code
Comments not OK? Click here to let us know
Read this..