Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 17:32 UK

Officer reported for Osama outfit

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The carnival took place just days before the 9/11 anniversary

A senior policeman who dressed as Osama Bin Laden at a Cornish fete is being investigated by the police watchdog.

Ch Supt Colin Terry, who is on secondment to Afghanistan with the Foreign Office, wore the outfit to Grampound village carnival last week.

The officer represented Devon and Cornwall Police at a memorial service in New York for the victims of 9/11.

Mr Terry said that he was "extremely disappointed if it had caused offence" and was "most apologetic".

The force said Mr Terry's actions at the carnival on 6 September were "inappropriate" and "unacceptable".

Devon and Cornwall Police said misconduct proceedings would have been considered if Mr Terry had been working for them at the time.

The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The parade was just a bit of village fun
Becky Knight, Grampound resident

In a statement, a spokesman for the Devon and Cornwall force said: "The decision to participate in the carnival and the choice of costume were both personal decisions by Ch Supt Terry himself.

"Whilst we believe his actions were misguided rather than malicious, they were clearly inappropriate and we would condemn any such actions by any police officer as unacceptable."

The IPCC confirmed it had received a "voluntary referral" from Devon and Cornwall Police.

"We will look into the matter and make a decision in due course," a spokesperson told BBC News.

Mr Terry, a former Grampound resident, told BBC News: "I have been involved in the carnival for many years.

Ch Supt Colin Terry
Ch Supt Colin Terry said he wanted to cover his face

"But I wanted a costume to cover my face because I have been working overseas and people thought I was still away.

"It was an error of judgement."

He said he was sorry if he had embarrassed the carnival and the police.

"The carnival is a community event and I am extremely disappointed if it has caused offence and I am most apologetic for that.

"I should have been a bit more careful because of my job.

"There was never any intention to offend anyone, but I am not aware that it has offended anyone.

'Village fun'

"No-one has complained to me and no-one said anything on the day and I was in the carnival procession with a whole range of other people."

Grampound residents said they were surprised by the reaction to the costume.

Diane Hannam, of the carnival committee, said: "We definitely saw the costume, but I don't remember anyone commenting on the day."

Becky Knight, who works at the Dolphin Pub, said: "The parade was just a bit of village fun, I would be surprised if people took offence."

The Foreign Office said in a statement: "We can confirm that Chief Superintendent Colin Terry of the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary is currently seconded to the EU policing mission to Afghanistan and working with the Afghan police."

Almost 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks.

They are believed to have masterminded by Osama Bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda.


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