Eight Met Police officers who praised a colleague who “once got away with rape” as a “legend” in a “vile” WhatsApp group chat have been found guilty of misconduct.
The officers - seven men and a woman, all from the South East Basic Command Unit - were found to have sent sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and ableist comments in a WhatsApp group called “Secret Squirrel S***”, over a two-year period between 2016 and 2018.
The two officers still serving - PC Glynn Rees, and PC Dave Selway, who was initially granted anonymity but has now been named - were sacked from the force on Friday, 14 April. While the other six officers, who had already resigned, sergeant Luke Thomas, acting sergeant Luke Allen, PC Kelsey Buchan, PC Carlo Francisco, PC Lee South and PC Darren Jenner were all barred for serving as police officers again.
Christopher McKay, the legal chair, described gross misconduct as a “breach of the standards of professional behaviour that is so serious as to justify dismissal”. He found each former and serving cop to have committed gross misconduct over their own messages, as well as by “failing to challenge or report” the conduct of others in the group.
Thomas, the highest-ranking officer, suggested to the group that he would name his dog “Auschwitz” or “Adolf”, or “Fred” or “Ian”, after his “two favourite child sex killers.” He also made derogatory comments about a junior female officer, describing her as an “it” and “f****** ugly”, and said any non-binary person is a “c***”.
Meanwhile, other members of the chat referred to women as “silly sl***” and “s***k rags”, and made a series of racist remarks, such as describing a holiday resort as having “lots of black”, which was said to be a “drawback” of going there. One male officer was branded a “legend” after he “once got away with rape”.
Abuse was also repeatedly directed towards Katie Price’s eldest son Harvey, who is disabled. Katie previously slammed the “disgusting” cops for aiming their abuse at Harvey, saying: “They need to be punished, they were big enough to make all these comments and now they have to deal with the consequences.”
Thomas, Allen, Buchan, Francisco, South and Jenner all resigned from the force prior to the hearing, but the Met Police successfully argued that PC Rees and PC Selway should also be sacked. Although the messages first came to light in 2021, some of those who quit only did so in February 2023.
Dan Hobbs, the barrister representing the Met, said the police officers fostered a “toxic, abhorrent culture” through a series of discriminatory “messages, memes and videos”, including those which “applauded violence against women”. He argued that their actions are serious enough to justify dismissal.
As the highest-ranking officer, Thomas faced an additional allegation of failing to adequately supervise his team and legitimising the “derisory chat” as team sergeant. McKay, the legal chair, said of him: “Given his supervisory role as a sergeant, he failed to adequately supervise or guide his team in respect of conduct. His failings are extremely serious.
“He could and should have closed the WhatsApp group as soon as the highly inappropriate nature of the messages became apparent. Instead, he became one of its main contributors. This was undoubtedly gross misconduct.”
Commander Jon Savell said: “I was repulsed and ashamed to read the deeply offensive messages sent by these officers and I utterly condemn their behaviour. I am deeply sorry to those who have been the subject of such awful, disgusting messages.
“The commissioner has been very clear about our commitment to finding and getting rid of anyone in the Met who has these highly offensive attitudes and today’s result is an example of that.
“I have over 600 colleagues in our professional standards directorate – a team we have significantly grown – whose absolute focus is on this critically important piece of work. We are under no illusion that public trust and confidence in us depends on us re-establishing our integrity and professionalism.
“This is another painful day for us. We know there are more uncomfortable days to come as we turn over the stones and uncover others who corrupt our integrity.”
It comes as the Met faced fresh criticism after Baroness Louise Casey branded the force “institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic” in a scathing report. Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said he accepted the findings, but would not use the word “institutional”.
Sir Mark previously said in January that it was “crazy” that there were officers in the Met “who’ve committed criminality whilst police officers and yet I’m not allowed to sack them”. Around the same time, the Met also announced plans to review 1,633 claims of sexual and domestic abuse made against around 1,000 serving officers and staff members.
This followed the revelations about rapist ex-cop David Carrick, who was recently jailed for a minimum of 30 years and 239 days after he admitted to attacking at least a dozen women over an 18-year period.