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Gwent Police officers accused of gross misconduct over offensive messages

20 Mar 2024 2 minute read
Gwent Police headquarters

Two serving and one former Gwent Police officers are to face gross misconduct proceedings over offensive WhatsApp messages.

Watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said hearings will take place later this year for the constables, who are accused of sharing racist, misogynistic and homophobic messages, and for failing to challenge or report colleagues doing the same.

The messages were discovered as part of forensic analysis of a phone belonging to another officer, Sergeant Ricky Jones, who later took his own life.


Three other officers received written warnings for misconduct as a result of the investigation – two for failing to challenge or report colleagues sending offensive messages, and the third for providing confidential information to a member of the public.

They and another officer were facing a criminal investigation over the leak, but this has since been dropped.

Another three former officers, two of whom resigned and one who left the force several years ago, will face no further action because the watchdog has no power to make a decision over whether there is a case to answer.

According to the Sunday Times, racist images, pornographic videos and sensitive information about misconduct and corruption investigations were among the material exchanged from Mr Jones’s handset.

WhatsApp group

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 newspaper.

IOPC director David Ford said: “The content of some of the messages we examined raised serious concerns about the conduct of those police officers involved.

“We did not find any evidence to substantiate an allegation that Gwent Police tried to cover up inappropriate messages, which might have indicated corruption.

“The evidence showed that the searches police carried out on Ricky Jones’s phone were reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances at the time.”

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