Image source, Reuters
Image caption, The six sent messages over WhatsApp about victims of domestic abuse, people with disabilities and women in general
Six police constables have lost their jobs for being part of a WhatsApp group sharing “grossly offensive” messages.
More than 6,000 messages were viewed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), including racist and homophobic comments, derogatory remarks about domestic abuse victims, people with disabilities, and women.
The officers from three forces were found to be guilty of gross misconduct.
Two were sacked and the others would have been if they had not already left.
The IOPC found the six officers breached police standards of professional behaviour for discreditable conduct; authority, respect and courtesy; challenging and reporting improper conduct; and equality and diversity.
Serving PCs Gary Bailey, of the Met, and Matthew Forster, of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, were dismissed.
The former officers given dismissal notices are PCs Joel Borders, Jonathon Cobban and William Neville of the Met, and PC Daniel Comfort from the Norfolk Constabulary.
All of them apart from Pc Forster, who is subject to different regulations, will be added to the College of Policing barred list preventing them from future employment with the police service.
The chat group was called the Bottles and Stoppers and dated back to February 2019, according to the IOPC.
Its messages also included jokes about the Auschwitz concentration camp in which at least 1.1 million people were murdered by the Nazis.
IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “The views expressed by these officers do not belong in a civilised society and, as we have said before, social media cannot be a hiding place for them whether on a public platform or as part of a private group.
“Behaviour of this kind undermines public confidence in policing and the dismissal rulings by the panel today send out a strong message that it will not be tolerated.”
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