A legal investigation has been launched into six serving cops and a former officer over “discriminatory” and “derogatory” messages shared in a WhatsApp group, a watchdog has stated.
The officers are being investigated for offences below the Communications Act after allegedly sending “grossly offensive messages”, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) stated.
They embody 5 officers serving with the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC), a former CNC officer who now works for one more power and an ex-CNC officer.
All seven individuals are additionally below investigation for potential gross misconduct, the IOPC stated.
The watchdog stated it had recognized a “significant number” of messages of a “discriminatory, derogatory or pornographic nature” shared throughout the WhatsApp group.
It adopted referrals from the CNC and a power within the southwest of England, in keeping with the watchdog.
IOPC regional director Catherine Bates stated: “The allegations towards these officers and a former officer are extraordinarily severe and regarding.
“On conclusion of our investigation we will decide whether the matters should be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, whose role it is to determine whether criminal charges will follow.”
The CNC is the armed police power answerable for defending civil nuclear websites and nuclear supplies in England and Scotland.
The power stated its 5 serving officers below investigation have been suspended whereas the IOPC probe is carried out.
CNC chief constable Simon Chesterman stated: “As I am sure you can appreciate, this is a live investigation and I am limited in what I can say at this stage as we must ensure it remains a fair and independent process.
“This is the most recent in quite a lot of circumstances the place serving or former cops are accused of displaying offensive and discriminatory behaviour, which damages public belief in policing and the credibility of the police service.
“Those who hold and display racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic or any other views that are discriminatory have no place in the police service and they will be rooted out.”
It is known the IOPC’s investigation into the officers is just not linked to Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens, who labored for the CNC from March 2011 to September 2018.
Last month, a serving Metropolitan Police officer and a former colleague had been convicted of sending grossly offensive misogynistic and racist messages in a WhatsApp group referred to as “Bottle and Stoppers” with Couzens.
Couzens is serving a whole-life sentence for the kidnap, rape, and homicide of 33-year-old advertising and marketing govt Ms Everard in March 2021, when he was working within the Met.
On Friday, the brand new head of the Met Police, Sir Mark Rowley, introduced the power has launched a brand new anti-corruption unit to root out “criminal colleagues”.