Two Met officers given final warnings for sharing ‘deeply hurtful’ WhatsApp message after Sarah Everard murder
Two probationary constables have been issued final written warnings following the sharing of an inappropriate graphic on WhatsApp after Sarah Everard’s murder.
The graphic, following the killing of Ms Everard, 33, by police officer Wayne Couzens, was challenged by “disgusted” colleagues and reported to senior officers.
At a misconduct meeting, this probationary constable, who was based on Central East Command Unit, was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour for conduct and authority, respect and courtesy.
They were issued with a final written warning and have since resigned.
Another probationary constable, based on Central North Command Unit, also faced a misconduct meeting.
They were found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour for challenging and reporting improper behaviour, conduct and authority, respect and courtesy after sharing the graphic and failing to challenge it. They were also issued with a final written warning.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy, who leads the Met’s Professional Standards section, said: “The graphic was insensitive, inappropriate and deeply hurtful. The thoughtless, unkind actions of the two officers who shared the graphic are incredibly disappointing, and they let everyone down with their behaviour.
“Thankfully colleagues who received the image were disgusted and promptly reported their concerns to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, who made an immediate referral to the IOPC.
“The IOPC’s investigation found the two officers should face a misconduct meeting. In April, 2022, they were found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour and issued with a final written warning, the most serious sanction available to the panel at a misconduct meeting.
“Officers and staff are regularly reminded of their responsibilities regarding use of social media and are expected to uphold high standards. I am clear that any alleged wrongdoing reported to us will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate action taken.”
The MPS referred the matter to the Independent Office of Police Conduct in March 2021, following allegations that a probationary constable shared the graphic.
A third police constable, based on Central North Command Unit, received reflective practice after forwarding the image to ask for advice on how to deal with the situation.