“Officers were told to delete WhatsApp messages during internal campaign briefings”

Officer G told Baroness Casey’s review that teams were warned to check what they had posted on WhatsApp and Facebook in case they were investigated.

The officer said the advice was given during briefings for the internal Not In My Met campaign, an initiative to stamp out unacceptable behaviour.

Baroness Casey’s report said: “G says officers were encouraged to delete their WhatsApp messages during the briefing he attended.

“She says the officers were told, ‘We don’t want more people to hand over their phones, look at their WhatsApp and Facebook statuses and messages, look carefully, now they’re coming for everyone, protect yourselves.’

“G says he knows of colleagues elsewhere who received the same message in his briefings.”

The Met has been plagued by a series of messaging scandals, including grossly offensive material shared by officers at Charing Cross Police Station between 2016 and 2018, much of it too obscene to print.

The watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, took the unusual step of releasing the full messages in February last year, saying the behavior it had uncovered was “disgraceful”.

There was also the WhatsApp group “Bottles and Stoppers” linked to the murderer Wayne Couzens, whose content was so disturbing that six officers, four of whom were from the Met, were found guilty of gross misconduct and fired or had already left their jobs. .

Former PC Jonathon Cobban and Joel Borders were sentenced to three months in prison for sending extremely offensive messages on a public communications network, which they are currently appealing.

Westminster Magistrates Court heard how they joked about raping a colleague, talked about shooting children and people with disabilities and displayed racist views in the group in 2019.

In a separate criminal case, former Met agents Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis were jailed for two years and nine months each in December 2021 for sharing photos of the bodies of two murdered sisters on WhatsApp.

Deaths at Fryent Park
Sisters Bibaa Henry (left) and Nicole Smallman (Family Handouts/PA)

The couple were supposed to be watching the scene where Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, were stabbed to death in a park in north-west London, and shared the footage for “a cheap thrill,” they said. he told a court.

The Casey Review, published on Tuesday, found that officers from the MO19 armored unit were taught to type the word LANDSLIDE in WhatsApp, Signal or Telegram groups if they thought they might be compromised, so the contents could be removed.

This is the code word used if an officer finds an explosive that looks like it is going to go off.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “Those who came forward to provide evidence as part of this review were rightfully given anonymity.

“We have asked Baroness Casey and her team to provide us with all available details, while respecting that anonymity, to allow us to further investigate the specific serious issues raised.

“We’ve also made it clear that if any of those people want to raise issues with our Professional Standards Directorate, we’ll absolutely make it easy.”


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