'Final warning' given to two officers for Sarah Everard kidnap meme
Met Police give ‘final warning’ to two officers who shared sick meme about Sarah Everard’s kidnap that left colleagues ‘disgusted’
- Two probationary constables given final warnings after colleagues blew whistle
- One of the pair – from the Central East Command Unit – has since resigned
- One punished for posting the meme and other for failing to challenge or report it
The Met Police have given a final warning to two officers who shared sick meme about Sarah Everard’s kidnap the same month the tragic 33-year-old was discovered – but one will remain part of the force.
Fellow officers blew the whistle on their messages in March 2021 – the same month she was killed.
One was punished for posting the meme and the other for failing to challenge or report it.
It was challenged by ‘disgusted’ colleagues and reported immediately, according to the force.
One of the pair – from the Central East Command Unit – has since resigned.
Wayne Couzens (left, in his uniform with his police belt circled and right, in a court sketch) kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard in depraved crime after he had finished his shift
Miss Everard’s disappearance sparked a huge manhunt and led to an outpouring of anger about the safety of women on the streets
The second, from the Central North Command Unit, was also found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour for challenging and reporting improper behaviour, conduct and authority, respect and courtesy after sharing the graphic and failing to challenge it, but remains serving in the force.
READ MORE: Twisted WhatsApp messages show Wayne Couzens joking with Met colleagues about rape and sexually assaulting domestic violence victims – as killer cop is jailed for 19 months for three counts of indecent exposure
A third constable, who was based on Central North Command Unit, received ‘reflective practice’ after they forwarded the image to ask for advice on how to deal with the situation.
The police watchdog, the IOPC, said: ‘Other investigations involving matters linked to Couzens led to the IOPC finalising a report in August 2021 which found a case to answer for misconduct for three Met officers after an offensive meme relating to the kidnap of Sarah Everard was circulated via WhatsApp.
‘The allegations were proven at a misconduct meeting held by the force in April 2022 when two police constables received final written warnings, one for posting the meme and the other for failing to challenge or report it.
‘Misconduct was also found for a third constable who was dealt with under the reflective practice review process on the basis that while disagreement was expressed with the meme, it was forwarded to seek further opinion rather than the officer reporting it.’
Couzens’ own twisted WhatsApp conversations with his colleagues were revealed in March – in which he joked about rape and made offensive comments about women, race, violence, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and disability.
The firearms officer, 50, used Covid laws to stop, handcuff and stage the fake arrest of Sarah Everard before strangling her ‘with his police belt’ on March 3 2021.
Police released this mugshot of murderer police officer Couzens after he admitted the horrific crime earlier this year
Jonathon Cobban, 35, left, and former PC Joel Borders, 46, right, were each jailed for 12 weeks at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in November 2022
Fellow officers PC Jonathon Cobban and PC Joel Borders were jailed for three months for their messages in a WhatsApp group with Couzens in November.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said: ‘The graphic was insensitive, inappropriate and deeply hurtful.
‘The thoughtless, unkind actions of the two officers who shared the graphic are incredibly disappointing, and they let everyone down with their behaviour.
‘Thankfully colleagues who received the image were disgusted and promptly reported their concerns to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, who made an immediate referral to the IOPC. The IOPC’s investigation found the two officers should face a misconduct meeting.
‘In April, 2022, they were found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour and issued with a final written warning, the most serious sanction available to the panel at a misconduct meeting.’
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