Derbyshire Police chief rushes to defend ‘hero’ Whaley Bridge officer after ‘hurtful’ hair comments

(Left) Derbyshire Police chief constable Peter Goodman has defended deputy chief constable Rachel Swann (Right) after 'hurtful and unnecessary' comments were made about her hairstyle on social media.
(Left) Derbyshire Police chief constable Peter Goodman has defended deputy chief constable Rachel Swann (Right) after 'hurtful and unnecessary' comments were made about her hairstyle on social media.

A Derbyshire Police chief has rushed to defend his ‘hero’ colleague after she received ‘hurtful’ comments about her hair during the Whaley Bridge crisis.

Deputy chief constable Rachel Swann, who led the operation to evacuate the town, came under fire for her ‘spikey’ hairstyle during a press conference on the dam emergency.

The officer received scathing criticism on Twitter with some users arguing that her hairstyle was ‘unprofessional’ and that she ‘should be sent home’.

But Chief Constable Peter Goodman branded the remarks ‘unnecessary and hurtful’.

“I am proud to have Rachel Swann as my deputy chief constable in Derbyshire,” he said.

READ MORE: DERBYSHIRE POLICE CHIEF WHO LED WHALEY BRIDGE OPERATION COMES UNDER FIRE- FOR HER HAIR
“She is an exemplary officer and we feel that her personal appearance and hairstyle are perfectly acceptable and are in no way contrary to our appearance standards.

“The personal comments that have been made about her on social media have been unnecessary and hurtful. We are an inclusive organisation that welcomes diversity and difference. The deeply personal comments that have been directed towards her are completely unacceptable.

“Rachel has coordinated an excellent response to a complex critical incident and this should be the focus; keeping our communities safe during a dynamic and very dangerous situation.”

Mr Goodman added that he made the decision to remove the appearance standards policy when he became chief constable.

“This does not mean that I have no expectations of officers and staff,” he added.

“We need to remember that it is 2019 and times change along with policies.

“It remains that I expect officers to look professional and presentable, however as long as hairstyles do not pose a health and safety risk to officers I do not have a strong opinion on what styles are worn.”

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