IOPC investigating nine armed police officers accused of ‘racist’ and discriminatory conversations

Officers probed are responsible for guarding nuclear facilities

Andy Gregory
Friday 04 November 2022 22:24 GMT
Nine Civil Nuclear Constabulary officers are being investigated by the IOPC
Nine Civil Nuclear Constabulary officers are being investigated by the IOPC (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Nine armed officers are being investigated over allegations they took part in “racist, misogynistic, ableist and offensive” conversations while on duty, the police watchdog has said.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) announced on Friday that it had opened two probes into the conduct of nine officers with the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

All of the force’s officers are armed, and are responsible for guarding nuclear facilities and materials in England and Scotland against theft or sabotage, with a major focus on counter-terrorism.

Each of the nine officers have been told they are under investigation for potential breaches of the standards of professional behaviour – amounting to gross misconduct, according to the IOPC.

The watchdog said it will look into allegations that these officers openly engaged in conversations of a discriminatory nature and either used offensive language, or failed to challenge it.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “Officers are committed to maintain exemplary standards of conduct, integrity and professionalism so allegations like this are extremely concerning and will be subject to robust and independent investigation.

“We continue to encourage officers to report any situation in which they witness colleagues falling below standards they should adhere to. As this work is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The investigation does not necessarily mean that conduct proceedings or criminal charges will follow, the watchdog said. The status of each officer will remain under review throughout the investigation, the IOPC added.

It comes just days after two Metropolitan Police officers were sentenced over racist, misogynistic, homophobic and ableist messages shared in a WhatsApp group containing their ex-colleague Wayne Couzens – who kidnapped, raped and murdered Sarah Everard last year.

The trial was a result of the police’s seizure of a mobile phone belonging to Couzens, who prior to joining the Met worked for the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, where according to The Sun he was allegedly dubbed “the rapist” by colleagues.

Senior officers have expressed concerns that racism among police has merely been pushed underground, moving in the past two decades from canteens to WhatsApp groups and anonymous police social media accounts.

National Black Police Association president Andy George told The Independent in July: “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.”

Last month, Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said hundreds of Scotland Yard’s officers should be sacked after a long-awaited report found the force’s internal disciplinary system is racist and misogynistic.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in