Allegations of gross misconduct have been proven against a member of the Avon and Somerset Police Special Constabulary.

A public hearing was held at police headquarters this week in front of panel led by an independent legally qualified chairman.

The panel ruled the officer, known as SC J, made a joke and another derogatory comment during a training course in January which was discriminatory and caused offence to his colleagues.

The joke and a comment about a plane shot down over Iran were said in the hearing of others on the course and the trainer.

The trainer said the comments were "racist".

They subsequently concluded SC J breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour concerning Equality and Diversity, Authority, Respect and Courtesy and Discreditable Conduct.

The panel held that the only appropriate outcome was of dismissal without notice.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen said: “There is absolutely no place in Avon and Somerset Police for anyone who holds or expresses discriminatory views.

“SC J’s words were abhorrent, highly offensive and caused those who heard them significant concern that they formally raised it with senior managers.

“It is encouraging to know SC J was immediately challenged by those on the training course and that they had the courage to give evidence during the hearing against their colleague.”

He added: “We strive to be the most inclusive police force in England and Wales and even a rare case such as this can threaten to seriously undermine this ambition. We are very sensitive to what is happening around the world and the impact this case could have on our communities.

“It would be impossible to expect the public to have confidence in us to treat them fairly if there are people working for us who hold discriminatory views such as this. This constabulary considers such conduct to be incompatible with the role of a police officer and we will always take robust and firm action against anyone in our organisation who is found to do so.”