Five cops face the sack after ‘sharing misogynistic & racist messages’ with Wayne Couzens before Sarah Everard murder

FIVE police officers could be sacked after it is claimed they shared "racist and misogynist" messages with Wayne Couzens.

The five police officers from the Met, both Sussex forces, Dorset and Avon and Somerset will be hauled into misconduct meetings.

The officers will also face disciplinary action over messages shared on social media about Sarah Everard's killer, the police watchdog said.

The proceedings could see them sacked.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) regional director Sal Naseem said: "In April this year we warned about the unacceptable use of social media by officers based on a number of cases involving the posting of offensive and inappropriate material.

"We wrote to the National Police Chiefs Council, asking them to remind forces and officers of their obligations under the police Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Behaviour.

"The allegations involved in these two investigations, if proven, have the capacity to further undermine public confidence in policing.

"They also once more illustrate the potential consequences for officers and come at a time when policing standards and culture have never been more firmly in the spotlight."

The officers are alleged to have shared messages that were misogynistic, racist and homophobic in nature in a chat with the killer, according to The Times.

One officer, who works for Dorset Police, is accused of posting details of an interview given by Couzens in a chat on the Signal messaging platform.

The details could have prevented Sarah Everard's killer from being brought to justice, investigators said.

A spokesman for the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said: "We have concluded that the officer has a case to answer for gross misconduct after we looked at whether the messages, had they got into the public domain, would have brought discredit on the police service and potentially interfered with the course of justice.

"We also considered whether there was a legitimate policing purpose in sharing the information.

"Dorset Police will now organise a gross misconduct hearing for the officer, who was on secondment from the force for potential breaches of professional standards of behaviour relating to confidentiality, conduct, and challenging and reporting improper behaviour."

The six-month investigation by the IOPC also found two other officers had joined the online conversation and made unprofessional remarks about Couzens and endorsed comments for fellow officers.

The spokesperson added: "We found that two officers, from Sussex Police and Avon and Somerset Constabulary, had a case to answer for misconduct for alleged breaches of professional standards of behaviour for conduct, authority, respect and courtesy; and in the case of the Sussex officer, standards for challenging and reporting improper behaviour.

"The officer from Avon and Somerset Constabulary will face a misconduct meeting in due course."

It was also revealed another Met Police officer had been probed for using Whatsapp to share an inappropriate graphic, that depicted violence against women, with colleagues.

Investigators found the probationary constable for the Met had shared the image that referenced the kidnap and murder of Ms Everard by Couzens.

The graphic was challenged by colleagues and reported internally, the IOPC said.

Another officer from Sussex Police was found not to have breached misconduct rules, the spokesperson said.

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