By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 19 February 2022 • 9:01
The CPS in the UK have confirmed that two serving Met Police Officers and one former officer are being charged with sharing ‘racist and misogynistic messages’, that were allegedly shared via WhatsApp with Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens.
The charges follow an investigation by the Independent Officer for Police Conduct with all three accused of sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network contrary to section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.
The three are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 16. The CPS said it cannot confirm the names of the officers for operational reasons.
Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS special crime division, said: “Following a referral of evidence by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the CPS has authorised charges against two serving Metropolitan Police officers and one former officer.
“All three will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on March 16 for their first hearing. Each of the three defendants has been charged with sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network. The alleged offences took place on a WhatsApp group chat.
“The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges to a court to consider.
“Criminal proceedings are active and nothing should be published that could jeopardise the defendants’ right to a fair trial.”
In a statement, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said: “Two serving Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers and one former MPS officer are to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on March 16 charged in connection with an Independent Office for Police Conduct investigation into the sending and sharing of inappropriate messages on WhatsApp.
“They are charged with sending grossly offensive messages on a public communications network contrary to section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.
“The offences are alleged to have occurred between April and August 2019.
“The IOPC’s investigation began following a referral from the MPS in April last year (2021) and was completed in December when we referred a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS has now taken the decision to authorise charges against the officers.”
The news that the Met Officers are being charged with sharing ‘racist and misogynistic messages’ will be welcomed following the failure by Cressida Dick to deal effectively with the recent findings that the culture was endemic in some police stations.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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