Saturday Jul 02, 2022
An Indian-origin officer Sukhdev Jeer and Paul Hefford, both reportedly attached to Forensic Services in the Metropolitan Police, have been sacked for making "abhorrent" remarks in a group chat, including a racist joke about Prince Harry's wife Meghan Markle.
A tribunal heard both the officers posted the messages on WhatsApp in 2018 before Meghan's marriage to Prince Harry. It found they had committed gross misconduct.
Chairman Maurice Cohen said they were "highly corrosive and discriminatory" to members of the public "including those in the local community" they served.
"The postings in this group caused serious reputational damage to the Metropolitan Police as a whole," Cohen said at an earlier hearing.
He added that the content was posted over an "extended period of time" and that the officers should have been aware of their "unacceptable nature".
Jeer had previously told the tribunal he was "not in a good place" and had used the language to cope with the "issues" he had been experiencing.
Barrister Ben Summers had argued he should not be dismissed over a "handful of inappropriate jokes" which caused "limited harm" and said he should receive a warning instead of being sacked.
Michael Shaw, representing PC Hefford, said the officer found his posts "embarrassing and difficult" and had learned a "sad lesson".
Vishal, representing the Met, said: "The panel has found the postings were abhorrent and discriminatory in nature and the damage it has done to public confidence is substantial and far-reaching."
Vishal also said "trust once lost is not easily regained", adding the men's dismissal was required to maintain public confidence in the force.