Only 10 of 412 Met officers investigated for alleged online abuse have been fired |  Metropolitan Police

Only 10 of 412 Met officers investigated for alleged online abuse have been fired | Metropolitan Police

Scotland Yard has sacked just 10 of 412 police officers indicted in the past five years for their alleged misuse of WhatsApp or social media sites such as Facebook.

The vast majority of officers disciplined for their conduct were instead given written warnings while others were put through a ‘reflective learning practice’ or given ‘management advice’.

The figures appear to support the complaint by new Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, who said the force was crippled by the difficulty of firing officers.

Around 3,000 Met officers are not fully deployable due to performance concerns or physical or mental health issues. Another 500 are on restricted duty or suspended for serious misconduct charges.

A Met spokesman said the decision to fire an officer was made by a legally qualified person presiding over misconduct hearings and was beyond the control of the Met or any other force.

According to figures released by Scotland Yard after a freedom of information request, 412 Met officers were investigated between 2017 and August 2022 for their conduct in text messages, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat , dating apps and LinkedIn, among others.

Of these, 109 (26%) cases resulted in informal or informal action. Scotland Yard did not provide full details of all of these cases of risk of identifying individuals, but they reported that 10 officers had been made redundant and seven would have been made redundant had they not resigned or retired .

The Met further revealed that 11 officers had received final written warnings, suggesting there had been prior misconduct. Twenty others received a written warning as part of disciplinary proceedings.

The Met reported that 23 other officers were asked to reflect on their actions and write up an account of what they did, then explore where they went wrong.

The revelations will raise further concerns about the Met after it was placed under special measures this summer by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary. This followed the discovery of a litany of new “systemic” failures in crime control and victim service.

In October, a report by Victims Commissioner Louise Casey warned Rowley that the Met’s misconduct procedures were not working, with the bar for gross misconduct dismissal set too high. Another report is expected in the new year.

According to published figures, 37 officers were investigated on their social networks in the Met in 2017, 38 in 2018, 50 in 2019, 102 in 2020, 111 in 2021 and 74 in the first eight months of This year.

Earlier this month two Metropolitan Police officers, PC Jonathon Cobban, 35, and Joel Borders, 45, who left the force, were sentenced to three months in prison after being found guilty of sharing racist, homophobic, misogynistic and ableist messages in a WhatsApp Group with the officer who murdered Sarah Everard.

They had joked on the encrypted messaging platform about beating and sexually assaulting women, raping a colleague and using Tasers on children.

In an exchange on April 5, 2019, Borders wrote, “I can’t wait to pick up some guns so I can shoot a pussy in the face!”

In June, three Metropolitan Police officers appeared before a misconduct hearing accused of sharing racist and offensive messages, including comparing the Duchess of Sussex to a golliwog toy and calling a black boy an ape.

PCs Sukhdev Jeer, Paul Hefford and former PC Richard Hammond, who worked in a unit at Bethnal Green Police Station in east London, had been accused of sharing ‘explicitly racist, homophobic, sexist’ videos , ableists and Islamophobes”.

Hefford and Jeer were subsequently sacked. In delivering the panel’s decision, the chairman, Maurice Cohen, said their actions were “significant and extremely serious”.

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