Watchdog launches probe after five Dorset Police officers are ‘suspended for sending and receiving offensive WhatsApp messages
- Five officers in Dorset force suspended over offensive Whatsapp messages
- Investigation has been launched by force following similar cases elsewhere
- Comes after two officers imprisoned and four others sacked for Couzens chat
Five police officers have been suspended from the Dorset force for allegedly sending and receiving offensive WhatsApp texts.
Colleagues reported the sergeant and four PCs for the inappropriate messages.
The officers are part of a crack anti-crime team in Bournemouth. They were suspended in July.
The suspensions come after increasing numbers of police officers have been found to be sharing inappropriate content online.
The five suspended officers are part of a crack anti-crime team in Bournemouth. They were suspended in July after sharing inappropriate messages online
Sources say one of the accused officer kept a wooden African tribal figure on a drinks bar at his home. The cop denies it was racist
A source told The Sun: ‘It was a private group. The officers used their own phones but there were messages about work jobs, which is forbidden.’
The sergeant, an acting inspector, is being probed for lack of supervision.
Sources say one officer kept a wooden African tribal figure on a drinks bar at his home. The cop denies it was racist.
The Dorset force is investigating after the case was referred back to it by the police watchdog.
A senior police officer on the Dorset force was given a written warning in February after being found guilty of gross misconduct.
Sergeant Simon Kempton, of Dorset Police, was on secondment serving as treasurer to the Police Federation, the body representing officers in England and Wales, when Sarah Everard was abducted.
Following Couzens’ hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 13 last year, Mr Kempton was approached by a Daily Mail journalist who filled him in on details heard in court.
Simon Kempton (above), 43, was on secondment serving as treasurer to the Police Federation, the body representing officers in England and Wales, when Sarah Everard was abducted
Publication of the evidence was prohibited by the Magistrates Court Act, but journalists have the right to be present in court or attend via video link.
Later that evening, Mr Kempton shared information about Couzens’ defence on chat app Signal in a group made up of members of the Police Federation’s governing body.
Mr Kempton faced misconduct proceedings for breaching standards of police professional behaviour concerning respect and courtesy, duties and responsibilities, social media use and confidentiality.
It was alleged his actions had the potential to undermine confidence in the police.
Police officers are said to be frightened of having inappropriate messages revealed after a number of cases across the country.
Six officers from forces across the country were sacked after a tribunal in November found messages in a Whatsapp group to be ‘grossly offensive’.
The chat made fun of crime, domestic abuse and the mentally ill and was sexist, the tribunal heard and all but one of the officers in question had been accused of gross misconduct.
Two of the officers, former PCs Jonathan Cobban and Joel Borders, were also jailed for 12 weeks for sharing messages in a Whatsapp group with killer Wayne Couzens.
Cobban was found guilty of three counts of sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network, while Borders was convicted of five charges after a Westminster Magistrates’ Court trial.
Both were released on bail pending appeals of their sentences.
Their colleague PC William Neville, 34, was cleared of sharing material after a trial in September.
Former Met police officer Jonathon Cobban arrives to City of London Magistrates’ Court in London on September 21, 2022. He was jailed for twelve months but released on bail pending a High Court appeal
Former officer Joel Borders walks out of City of London Magistrates’ Court in London on September 21, 2022. He was sacked and jailed for twelve weeks
Both were members of a chat called ‘Bottle and Stoppers’ on the encrypted platform with Wayne Couzens (pictured), 49. The messages in the chat were described at a tribunal as ‘grossly offensive’
An IOPC spokesman said after the decision to sack the officers in December that: ‘The “Bottles and Stoppers” chat group, as it was called, dated back to February 2019. All the officers involved had previously worked for CNC but had transferred to the MPS when the messages were sent.
‘During our investigation, we analysed more than 6,000 messages which included racist and homophobic comments, and derogatory remarks aimed at domestic abuse victims, people with disabilities, and women.
‘Examples included comments about starving African children eating flies; references to “filthy Feltham” in the context of the area’s diversity, “grooming” of young foreign girls by buying them prawn balls, and the Tasering of children and animals; use of offensive terms such as “mong” and “pikey”, and the comment “they only have to say yes once” in a clear reference to rape and/or sexual assault.
‘A remark about “dodgy” showers at Auschwitz prompted the response “very popular tho. I heard people were queuing up to go in them”.’
Three senior members of Wiltshire police staff are being investigated after an investigation into claims they made ‘highly misogynistic’ comments about colleagues.
One of the accused has resigned from his post, although proceedings will continue and he faces being barred from policing for life.
The other two members of staff also face losing their jobs and a lifetime ban if found guilty.
The Met Chief, Sir Mark Rowley, told a parliamentary committee recently that there were ‘hundreds’ of officers who should not be serving in the force.
Sir Rowley complained he was unable to purge the force of its ‘toxic minority’ of ‘corrupt’ officers because of rules that force him to defer decisions about sackings to independent panels.
‘I’ve got tens of thousands of great people and hundreds of people who shouldn’t be with me,’ he told the Home Affairs Select Committee.
‘We have police officers who have gained serious criminal convictions whilst being police officers that we can’t sack. We’re having to put restrictions on them to reduce the damage they can do as leaders or in terms of serving the public.
‘The final word for removing a police officer doesn’t sit with me. It sits with independent tribunals who I’d say don’t have the same interest in the quality of policing in London as I do.’
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