Revealed: Police officer joked about ‘turning my gaff into Auschwitz’

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Revealed: Police officer joked about ‘turning my gaff into Auschwitz’

Shocking report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct uncovers sick racist, misogynistic and homophobic messages from serving officers

Charing Cross police station in central London.
Charing Cross police station in central London.

Police officers exchanged racist WhatsApp messages, including an obscene joke about Auschwitz, a shocking report into bullying and harassment in the force reveals.

Sickening racist, sexist and homophobic messages were sent on the social media platform by serving officers, with one reported to have sent the message:

“Opened my balcony door and loads of flies flew into the front room. So I got the fly spray and turned my gaff into Auschwitz.”

Detailed in a report from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into now-disbanded teams, the messages were uncovered as part of nine investigations into officers based mostly at Charing Cross police station, that began in 2018.

The report submits 15 recommendations for the Met to change its practices and culture.

The Operation Hotton investigation found evidence of a culture of ‘toxic masculinity’, sexual harassment and misogyny, with one officer nicknamed “mcrapey raperson” in a WhatsApp exchange. Racist and islamophobic comments were also revealed, including remarks about African children, Somalian ‘rats’, black and Asian people.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I am utterly disgusted by the behaviour outlined in this IOPC report, which details the shocking evidence of discrimination, misogyny, harassment and bullying by police officers.

“The conduct of these officers was totally unacceptable and what has been revealed by these investigations will only further damage public trust and confidence in the police.

Opened my balcony door and loads of flies flew into the front room. So I got the fly spray and turned my gaff into Auschwitz.

“It is right that the team concerned has been disbanded and the police officers found to be involved have been dismissed, disciplined or have left the police. Anyone found to be responsible for sexism, racism, misogyny, Islamophobia, antisemitism, bullying or harassment does not deserve to wear the Met uniform and must be rooted out.”

The report said: “When we spoke with victims who challenged perpetrators about their experience, they told us that there appeared to be attempts made to push any comments or behaviour into a ‘grey zone’. This meant that everything that happened in this zone was reduced to being banter, or a joke or game, or it was just a misunderstanding”

“This process of pushing things into a grey zone allows perpetrators to get away with their behaviours, and acts to undermine or disregard the legitimacy of those who are subject to the bullying, misogyny and/or discrimination.”

This comes after a review of culture and standards in the Met was announced by Baroness Casey, in the wake of the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “The behaviour we uncovered was disgraceful and fell well below the standards expected of the officers involved. While these officers predominantly worked in teams in Westminster, which have since been disbanded, we know from other recent cases that these issues are not isolated or historic.

“The learning report we are publishing today is shocking and contains language which is offensive – and some may find it upsetting. However, we felt it was important to provide the context for the public, the Met and other forces, for why such hard-hitting recommendations are necessary.”

Commenting on the misogyny contained in the report, a spokesperson for Jewish Women’s Aid said: “the IOPC investigation uncovers truly shocking conduct and there can be no doubt that sexism and misogyny in the Met needs to be further investigated so we can confirm how widespread it is.

“For women to trust the police they need to know that this kind of behaviour, as well as racism and other discrimination, is not tolerated within the force.”

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