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Three Met Police officers charged with sending ‘grossly offensive’ WhatsApp messages

Three Met Police officers charged with sending ‘grossly offensive’ WhatsApp messages
Messages uncovered during watchdog’s investigation after murder of Sarah Everard

Drie Metropolitaanse polisie officers have been charged with sending “grossly offensive” messages in a WhatsApp group used by Wayne Couzens.

The messages, from between April and August 2019, were uncovered by a watchdog investigation following the murder of Sarah Everard laas jaar.

Rosemary Ainslie, van die Crown Prosecution Service, gesê: “Each of the three defendants has been charged with sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network. The alleged offences took place on a WhatsApp group chat.”

The men, who have not yet been officially named, were all officers at the time of the alleged offences in 2019.

Two are currently serving in the force and one has subsequently left. Die Onafhanklike understands that Couzens is not among the officers charged.

They have been charged with sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network, contrary to section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

All three defendants will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 16 Maart.

The charges came after an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

“The IOPC’s investigation began following a referral from the Metropolitan Police Service in April last year and was completed in December when we referred a file of evidence to the CPS,” the watchdog said.

Couzens kidnapped, raped and murdered Ms Everard, after staging a fake arrest as she walked home during Covid restrictions.

The case has sparked an independent review into the Metropolitan Police’s “standards and culture”, and a separate public inquiry that will probe whether opportunities to stop Couzens were missed, and wider issues with vetting.

Dame Cressida Dick announced her resignation as commissioner last week, following pressure from the mayor of London after a fresh scandal over misogyny and racism at Charing Cross police station.