Home London News 8 officers were in ‘racist, homophobic, sexist, and disablist group chat’

8 officers were in ‘racist, homophobic, sexist, and disablist group chat’

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Katie Price's son was target in group chat

8 Metropolitan Police officers were found guilty of gross misconduct because of ‘discriminatory and offensive’ messages they shared in a ‘sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and disablist group chat’ on WhatsApp. Some were targeted towards Katie Price’s disabled son.

The group chat was titled ‘Secret Squirrel Shit’. Legal chair Christopher McKay described the conduct a “breach of the standards of professional behaviour that is so serious as to justify dismissal” after 5 days of hearings at Palestra House in Southwark, Central London.

The judgement relates not only to the messages they each shared, but that the men and women in the chat also ‘failed to challenge or report’ the conduct of the other participants.

The hearing concerned former sergeant Luke Thomas, former acting sergeant Luke Allen, former Pc Kelsey Buchan, former Pc Carlo Francisco, former Pc Lee South, former Pc Darren Jenner, Pc Glynn Rees, and Officer B, who has been granted anonymity.

Included in the messages was Katie Price’s son, 20, a sufferer of Prader-Willi syndrome and autism, and one of their own, a junior female officer, only referred to as Officer A.

Mr McKay said Officer B, who can be named at the end of proceedings, posted an edited photograph of Mr Price in the chat with the caption: “You’ve heard of elf on a shelf, now get ready for Harvey Price eating Uncle Ben’s basmati rice after trying to read three blind mice on spice.”

Mr McKay said: “The rhyme has a racist tone and refers to his disability – he is partially sighted. There is no need to refer to Uncle Ben’s rice unless pointing to the racial origins of Uncle Ben and Harvey Price being similar. The words ‘trying to read’ also highlight his disability.”

The most senior-ranking officer in the group, Mr Thomas, was one of the most active participants.

Mr Thomas went as far to mock Mr Price’s weight, called Officer A “f****** ugly”, and joked that he should name his dog “Auschwitz”, “Adolf”, “Fred”, or “Ian” – Thomas’ “two favourite child killers”.

Mr McKay said: “Given his supervisory role as a sergeant, he failed to adequately supervise or guide his team in respect of conduct. His failings are extremely serious. He could and should have closed the WhatsApp group as soon as the highly inappropriate nature of the messages became apparent. Instead he became one of its main contributors. This was undoubtedly gross misconduct.”

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