‘The actions of these three are inexcusable,’ the head of the Met’s professional standards said
Two Metropolitan police officers have been dismissed after exchanging racist messages on a Whatsapp group, including a comparison between Meghan Markle and a g******.
PC Sukhdev Jeer and PC Paul Hefford, both attached to Forensic Services were found to have been involved “highly offensive and discriminatory behaviour”, a tribunal ruled.
An allegation was also proven for former PC Richard Hammond, previously attached to Met Operations.
The panel heard that PC Jeer posted a meme that showed the image of a “g*******” toy that was captioned: “A sneak preview at Meghan’s wedding dress.”
Responding to this, PC Jeer said he did not find this funny even at the time.
“The fact that someone is out there can create this, that is not a nice thing to do but I posted this on the group not to laugh at it but [to show] that there are people out there who still do this and find it funny,” Jeer said.
Commander Jon Savell, Professional Standards, said: “These vile messages were shared in 2018 within a closed WhatsApp group between a small group of officers. I hardly need to say it is completely unacceptable for anyone, let alone a police officer, to behave in such a manner. The actions of these three are inexcusable.
“The whole of the Met is focused on rooting out anyone who displays this type of behaviour and lets down the Met and the public we serve. Behaviour like this will absolutely not be tolerated and we are driving that message home to our officers and staff at every opportunity.”
The trio were all part of a unit at Bethnal Green Police Station and were members of a WhatsApp group called “But They Promised” that was active between January and December 2018.
Another meme was put to PC Hefford which showed “two black men lying next to two white women”.
It was captioned: “Girls’ trip to Jamaica. One came back pregnant, the other came back with syphilis. (Just kidding, they’re both still missing.)”
Questioned on why that was funny, he replied: “In general, Jamaica is known to not be a safe place to go out on your own.
“There is a quite big gang community there and they do kidnap people. So it’s just a play on words. Just a silly meme.”
Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, who leads Central East, said: “This repulsive behaviour understandably damages that trust and I want to apologise to every single member of the public we serve in this area.
“These officers have, rightly, been sacked. I do not want any officer who would engage in this sort of behaviour anywhere near your community. I will be personally emailing everyone who works at Central East to reinforce the message that words matter, respect matters, and every time someone sends this sort of message they cause real hurt.”
PCs Jeer and Hefford will now be added to the Barred List held by the College of Policing, the Met said in a statement. Those appearing on the list cannot be employed by police, local policing bodies (PCCs), the Independent Office for Police Conduct or Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.