Police racism now off the streets and in WhatsApp groups instead says top cop

Racism within the police hasn’t gone away, says Andy George, president of the National Black Police Association, it’s just gone online.

Commenting on the trial of two serving Metropolitan Police constables and one former constable who were charged with sending “grossly offensive messages” with killer cop Wayne Couzens, Mr George said the dark side of police culture had moved to “WhatsApp groups and anonymous police social media accounts”.

Prosecutor Edward Brown QC told Westminster Magistrates’ Court last week that one such group, called “Bottle and Stoppers/Atkin’s Puppets” included Couzens among its members. Officers in the group shared “grossly racist, sexist, misogynistic” messages – and many of them centred around rape, domestic abuse and violence against women.

READ MORE: Ex-officer 'joked about raping colleague with evil colleague Wayne Couzens'

Couzens, a former parliamentary and diplomatic protection officer, was jailed for life in September last year for the kidnap, rape and murder of 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard.

It was after his arrest that the messages were discovered.

In one, an officer wrote “I can’t wait to get on guns so I can shoot some c*** in the face!” to which a colleague replied: “Me too. I want to taser a cat and a dog to see which reacts better. I think the cat will get more p****d off and the dog will s**t. I wanna test this theory. Same with children. Zap zap you little f***ers”

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Mr George says these secret discussions were evidence of a “systemic” cultural problem within the police.

“How many times can we say it’s a few bad apples, we’ve dealt with them, things are great? There’s a wholesale systemic issue with culture,” Mr George told the Independent.

He added: “That attitude just shows that in the last 20-plus years all we’ve done with racism is pushed it underground.

“We’ve taken it out of canteens, out of mainstream documents and put it on WhatsApp groups and anonymous police social media accounts.

“We’ve made it something that you can’t say in the open anymore, but that people still obviously think and feel is acceptable – that’s the worrying bit.”

“How widespread those WhatsApp groups seem to be and what is said on them,” he said, “shows that we have a culture that normalises racism, misogyny and other discriminatory behaviours.”

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