Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
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Misconduct panel rules former Met constables would have been dismissed over texts

Two former Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) who sent misogynistic and discriminatory text messages would have been dismissed from the force without notice had they still been serving, a disciplinary panel concluded.

Allegations of bullying and harassment, drug use and destruction of evidence were also heard by the panel, which was led by an independent and legally qualified chair. 

The panel delivered the sanctions recently (Wednesday 1 September) at the end of a public hearing organised by the force. It followed investigations by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) which concluded that the officers had a case to answer for gross misconduct. These were part of a series of linked IOPC investigations, known as Operation Hotton, involving officers formerly based at Charing Cross Police Station.   

The panel directed that the former police constables should not be named.

Allegations proven against former PC A included the bullying and harassment of a colleague and sending Whatsapp message or texts messages to other officers threatening to harm that person when a complaint was made about the bullying.   

It was also found that former PC A exchanged inappropriate text messages with former PC B during which comments were made about drug taking and derogatory remarks made about women, referencing domestic abuse and prostitution.

Ex-PC A repeatedly used a racially offensive term during a Christmas social event while off-duty and his phone was subsequently found to contain offensive images and comments about women, people from ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.  

Our investigations also uncovered evidence that former PC A had used steroids and on learning of his imminent arrest for an unrelated matter deleted social media conversations from his mobile.

In addition to exchanging inappropriate messages about women, drugs and domestic violence, ex-PC B was also accused of sending texts containing offensive and inappropriate language, including some of a racial nature.

The allegations, covering a period from November 2014 to July 2017, were all proven and both former officers were found to have breached professional standards for Equality and Diversity; Authority, Respect and Courtesy; and Discreditable Conduct. Ex-PC A was also found to have breached the standards for Honesty and Integrity and Orders and Instructions.

Former PC A was dismissed by the MPS in June 2019 after being convicted of a criminal offence, and placed on the barred list preventing future employment with the police service. Former PC B resigned in May 2019 and will now be placed on the Police Barred List.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem recently said:

“The thorough investigations we carried out uncovered behaviour on the part of these officers that was nothing short of disgraceful and fell well below the standards expected of them or indeed anyone involved in public service.

“Conduct of this nature seriously undermines public confidence in policing and it is our role to ensure that it is rooted out and those responsible held to account for their actions. The panel’s sanctions underline the seriousness of the allegations and that that those engaged in such behaviour should not be wearing the uniform.”

These investigations were part of nine linked inquiries referred to us by the MPS between March 2018 and August 2019, which were all concluded by March 2020. In total we investigated a total of 13 officers at Charing Cross Police Station or West End Central who were part of the now disbanded Impact Teams, which were formed to deal with disorder and crime in the West End.

Details from an over-arching report, along with our findings, are being prepared for publication. Learning from our report is still being finalised.

 

Channel website: https://policeconduct.gov.uk/

Original article link: https://www.policeconduct.gov.uk/news/misconduct-panel-rules-former-met-constables-would-have-been-dismissed-over-texts

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