A PART-time volunteer officer with Avon and Somerset Police made a derogatory remark about Muslims and told an offensive 'joke' during a training course, it is claimed.

The special constable, named only as SC J, faces a misconduct hearing tomorrow (Wednesday)

It is alleged that SC J and other participants on a course at Avon and Somerset Police HQ were discussing the shooting down of a civilian plane by Iran and how the British Government would respond.

He is accused of making a comment along the lines: "Well not really, they are just Mohammeds."

Later on during the course in January this year, he read out the 'joke' from his mobile phone to the other participants and a trainer.

The 'punchline' of the joke - which the County Gazette is not repeating - was: "See, I told you no-one cares about Muslims."

The misconduct hearing will be told that SC J's comment and telling of the 'joke' breached the Standard of Professional Behaviour concerning equality and diversity.

His words are said to be "discriminatory because they singled out a particular demographic group on the basis of their religion and/or belief and suggested that, because of their religion and/or belief, they were of less worth than other people".

SC J is alleged to have demonstrated a failure to consider the needs of Muslims and that he does not treat Muslim people fairly nor with respect.

He is also accused of not treating all people impartially and not taking a positive approach to opposing discrimination.

"A reasonable person" would be concerned that this was the case, the hearing will be told.

SC J will further be told his words caused offence to his colleagues and showed a lack of courtesy or respect.

It is alleged that the breaches of the Standards of Professional Behaviour, if proved, both singularly and collectively amount to gross misconduct.