Officer struck and discriminated against Polish man

A police officer's back
Investigators said Mr Wyss asked whether the man’s behaviour was a "pastime from Poland or Lithuania or wherever" he was from [Getty Images]

A police officer accused of slapping the back of a Polish man's head and discriminating against him has been sacked.

Sgt Gregory Wyss from Cambridgeshire Police was dismissed without notice for gross misconduct following a six-day disciplinary hearing.

The panel was told he struck the man in the back with a baton, swore at him and asked whether his behaviour was a "pastime from Poland or Lithuania or wherever" he was from.

Chief Constable Nick Dean said there was "zero tolerance for racism".

On 2 January 2021, the man was arrested and taken to the custody suite at Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which investigated the incident, said the man was "uncooperative" and refused to provide fingerprint samples.

CCTV and body worn video footage showed Mr Wyss shouting, swearing and making threats towards the man, the IOPC said.

He slapped the back of his head and struck his back as he told the man to stop resisting.

During the struggle, the man’s knee struck another officer in the groin.

He was taken to the floor and told to put his hands behind his back so that he could be handcuffed.

Mr Wyss struck him in the back with a baton when he did not comply, investigators said.

The IOPC added that while the man was on the ground Mr Wyss sprayed PAVA into the man’s eyes at very close range.

He was handcuffed and further arrested for assaulting a police officer - but the IOPC said he was not later charged for the offence.

'Completely unacceptable'

The Cambridgeshire Police misconduct panel held this week found all the allegations against the officer were proved - including that he breached police standards of equality and diversity which related to using discriminatory language "and for treating the man less favourably at least in part because he was Eastern European".

IOPC regional director Charmaine Arbouin said any force used must be reasonable and "proportionate".

"His use of discriminatory language was completely unacceptable and he showed a complete lack of respect to the man."

Mr Dean said: “There is also zero tolerance for racism in Cambridgeshire.

"Any racist behaviour not only loses the trust and respect of our communities, but damages the reputation of the force, all those that work within it and causes great harm to policing in general."

Follow Cambridgeshire news on Facebook, Instagram and X. Got a story? Email or WhatsApp us on 0800 169 1830

Related Internet Links