A firearms officer secretly filmed himself having sex with two women before sharing the footage online with his colleagues, it has been reported.
Channel 4 News said the West Midlands Police officer is under criminal investigation for allegedly filming the encounters at a Christmas party without the women’s knowledge before sending the videos to members of his team by social media.
The broadcaster claimed 10 West Midlands Police officers and staff members shared offensive and derogatory material on social media.
An internal probe centring around the firearms unit is under way and some of those under investigation have been removed from frontline firearms duties.
Former victims commissioner for England and Wales Dame Vera Baird told Channel 4 the officers should be suspended immediately while investigations continue.
She also said it is “no longer at all appropriate” that police are able to carry out their own vetting.
She told Channel 4 News: “These attitudes don’t develop in a vacuum where they would be actively discouraged.
“I think we’ve seen… whole cultural problems about sexuality in particular, and this has a bit of an inevitability about that really.
“I think there are very serious problems about vetting. There have been so many errors made by so many forces that have culminated in men who should never have been in the force in the first place being looked at in exactly this way.
“It seems to me it is no longer at all appropriate that the police should carry out their own vetting. It should be done, in my view, with the intervention of some outside people.”
Jess Phillips, shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding and Birmingham Yardley MP, told the programme: “What is the standard for vetting, disciplinary, suspension in these instances?
“For too long in West Midlands Police, as well as in pretty much every police force across the country, we have seen cases where officers accused either through the criminal process or the employment processes of the police have been put on to light duties, for example. It’s just not appropriate.”
A spokesperson for the IOPC said: “We can confirm that in August this year we received a mandatory conduct referral from West Midlands Police in relation to the alleged posting, sharing and failure to challenge discriminatory and/or other inappropriate material by eight officers and staff on a social media messaging app.
“Following an assessment we determined that an investigation was required and that it was suitable for the force to carry that out given the detailed inquiries they had already undertaken.”
West Midlands Police have been contacted for comment.