Gwent Police investigated by Wiltshire Police after misogyny, racism and homophobia claims
Gwent Police is being investigated by another police force following claims of misogyny, racism and homophobia.
The Sunday Times reported that a phone owned by a former Gwent Police officer was found to contain offensive message exchanges between him and former colleagues.
The newspaper said racist images, pornographic videos, and sensitive information about misconduct and corruption investigations was among the material exchanged.
In a WhatsApp group, officers called each other “poofs” and “PC closet”, while another group member used the word “slopes” to describe Asian people, according to The Sunday Times.
The newspaper reported that Gwent chief constable Pam Kelly said that Wiltshire Police was conducting an independent investigation on behalf of Gwent Police.
A spokeswoman for Wiltshire Police said: “We can confirm this investigation is ongoing and it would, therefore, be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have said investigations opened into the force must be comprehensive and swift in order for public trust in the police to be maintained.
The party has also called for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, to clarify if he was aware of the problems within his force.
“What has been uncovered in this investigation is truly abhorrent,” Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said.
“While we know the vast majority of police officers are hardworking public servants, these latest revelations risk damaging the force on the back of damming allegations regarding the Met earlier this year.
“A swift and thorough investigation must now take place in order to restore public confidence.
“It also needs to be made clear whether or not Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert was aware of this toxic culture prior to the report being made by the Sunday Times and, if he was aware, what action has he been taking to stamp it out.
“Racism, sexism, homophobia or any kind of discrimination has no place in our society, not least among those institutions that are meant to protect us.”
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