Six police officers face criminal charges over ‘grossly offensive’ messages shared on WhatsApp group
- New police WhatsApp group with alleged derogatory messages found
- Six civil servants and a former police officer are under investigation
- All of them are current or former officers with the Civil Nuclear Constabulary
Investigators have launched a criminal investigation into six officials and a former police officer in Wayne Couzens’ old force.
Watchdog, the independent office for police conduct, announced this morning that it was now investigating a WhatsApp group for civilian nuclear police officers.
This group chat is different to the one exposed on Newsnight or the one Couzens was a member of which has previously seen the police punished.
This investigation followed referrals from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and a force in South West England, we reviewed messages shared within the group and identified a significant number of these messages to be discriminatory, derogatory or pornographic in nature.
New police WhatsApp group with alleged derogatory messages found by investigators
The officers – five who work with the CNC, a former CNC officer now working for another force and a former CNC officer – have been informed that they are being criminally investigated for offenses under section 127 of the Communications Act, saying sends grossly offensive messages.
All seven have also been informed that they are under investigation for potential gross misconduct.
This does not necessarily mean that a lawsuit or criminal charges will follow, and that each officer’s status will be reviewed throughout the investigation.
All the men being investigated are still or were former officers in the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, of which Wayne Couzens was a member
IOPC regional director Catherine Bates said: ‘The allegations against these officers and a former officer are extremely serious and concerning.
“Once our investigation has been completed, we will decide whether the cases should be referred to the public prosecutor’s office, whose role is to decide whether a criminal case will follow.
“As this work is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”