Police officers 'called teenager a 'f******' slag' after she made a domestic violence complaint

West Midlands Police have confirmed officers have been placed on restricted duties while they investigate the claims

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The Independent Online

Two police officers are under investigation after an abusive voicemail message was left on the phone of a woman, calling her a "f****** slag" and a "b****" after she had made a complaint of domestic violence.

Alex Faragher, 19, from Sutton Coldfield, has lodged an official complaint about the incident which she said happened last month during an inquiry into an alleged assault.

The teenager, who works as a wedding caterer, has handed police a recording of the expletive-strewn message in which two men can be heard claiming she is "giving us the runaround".

The message said: "F*****g b****, I specifically said: 'You are not going to give us the runaround are you?'

"'‘No, I want to press charges,' she said."

In the voicemail, a man can also be heard saying: "F*****g slag" and: "The only other thing we can do is go back and f****** draft the statement ourselves and just get the b**** to sign it".

Ms Faragher told The Birmingham Mail: "If I had spoken about them like that I would have been arrested by now and prosecuted.

“They were due to come to my house to take the statement. I told them I would be out with my dad after 6pm.

“They turned up after 6.30pm and tried to call me and mistakenly didn’t hang up. I picked up the conversation they then had in the police car that was recorded as a voicemail. I could not believe what I was hearing.

"These two people were supposed to be coming out to help me and instead I received abuse."

The chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge, Sandra Horley, said she was appalled but not surprised at the content of the voicemail message.

Ms Horley said: "We know that negative attitudes about women who experience domestic violence persist within the police.

"Far too many women are disbelieved, ignored and denied protection. In the worst cases, women and children are killed after the police fail to fulfil their duties.

"The police need to get the basics right."

Confirming that two officers have been placed on restricted duties in non-public-facing roles, Rachel Jones, commander of Birmingham North Police, said: "West Midlands Police received an official complaint on 24th January in relation to an allegation of gross misconduct involving two police officers from Sutton Coldfield police station.

"Due to the serious nature of the allegations the matter was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, who have determined that the complaint will be investigated by West Midlands Police Professional Standards Department.

"I have visited the complainant personally to explain what action is being taken as well as apologising for any upset caused as a consequence of the officers’ alleged conduct.

"Across the force we expect the highest standards of professionalism from all officers and police staff.

"This complaint is being professionally and robustly investigated and the force will take necessary action against officers if appropriate."

Additional reporting by Press Association