Sussex chief inspector faces probe over 'racist text'

Ch Insp Mark Ling
Image caption Ch Insp Mark Ling has been praised by politicians in Hastings for reducing crime

A senior Sussex police officer facing a misconduct investigation was suspended for allegedly sending a racist text message, the BBC has learned.

Ch Insp Mark Ling was Hastings District Commander for more than three years before his suspension in June.

BBC South East Today's Colin Campbell said the investigation was triggered after Mr Ling allegedly sent a text message containing a racist word.

Details of the message have not been revealed by Sussex Police.

However, the force has revealed it is investigating Mr Ling for further matters.

'Approachable and committed'

In a statement, the force said it was "inaccurate to suggest that this complex internal investigation concerns only the sending of a text message".

The force, which has not officially identified the officer, said it would not comment further while the investigation was ongoing.

Mr Ling has been praised for successfully reducing crime in Hastings.

Councillor Jay Kramer, the deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: "As a person he is very approachable and very committed to the work that he does.

"In terms of his achievements, crime has significantly reduced under his watch and for that I am immensely grateful."

Rob Berkeley, the director of the race equality think-tank the Runnymede Trust, said it was important alleged incidents of police racism were investigated.

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