Monday, April 19

Sarah Everard: Met officer removed from duty ‘for sending offensive message’ | UK News


A metropolitan police officer guarding search lines as part of the investigation into Sarah Everard’s murder was removed from operations after allegedly sending an offensive graphic to colleagues on a WhatsApp group.

The Met said that given the context of the officer’s duties at the time, it had been referred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) and Everard’s family had been informed.

The Met said the “inappropriate graphic” was posted Thursday and reported by the officer’s colleagues. The force declined to give details about the image, described by a source as “disgusting”, beyond saying that it did not represent Everard or anything to do with the investigation into his alleged kidnapping and murder.

The force said the officer is on probation, meaning he had recently started his service with Britain’s largest force and went through an assessment supposedly to ensure candidates are fit to carry out the range of sensitive duties. what officers are expected to do.

The officer had been part of a phalanx of officers guarding search scenes in Kent, which began last Wednesday when police were searching for the 33-year-old man.

In a statement, the Met said: “On Friday, March 12, the Met’s professional standards directorate learned of an inappropriate graphic that was allegedly shared via social media by an MPS police officer on probation. with some colleagues. Several of these agents reported that they had shared the graphic and were concerned about its content.

“Given the context of the officer’s duties at the time, it has been voluntarily referred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct in relation to this matter.

“The PC had been deployed as a cordon officer supporting the search operation in Kent in connection with the murder of Sarah Everard. The officer has been removed from these duties and placed in a non-public role while investigations continue.

“Graphic does not contain photographic images [or] images of Sarah, or any other material obtained or related to the investigation into Sarah’s murder. “

The IOPC said: “It is alleged that they shared an inappropriate graphic with colleagues via social media on Thursday 11 March. Having seen the graphic, we can confirm that it does not contain photographic images or any other material obtained or related to the investigation into the death of Ms. Everard, or images of her.

Met Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said: “The MPS expects its officers to conduct themselves professionally at all times and this includes how they use social media.

“I take allegations that an officer or officers have not met these standards very seriously and have referred this matter to the IOPC.”

The IOPC also said it would investigate how the suspect in Everard’s abduction and murder, who was in the service of Met Officer Wayne Couzens, sustained injuries while in police custody. Couzens received treatment for injuries last Wednesday and Friday, the day he was charged.


www.theguardian.com

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