October 4, 2023

London’s vaunted Metropolitan Police Service is grappling with a blight that’s been affecting police departments in the USA, together with within the Bay Space: Racism amongst its ranks that has been uncovered by secret textual content messages shared amongst officers.

In an indication that racism has roiled within the highest ranks of the Metropolitan Police, the BBC reported Tuesday that six retired officers, who all frolicked within the power’s Diplomatic Safety Group, have been charged with felony offenses over “grossly offensive racist messages.” These messages had been despatched in a WhatsApp group between 2018 and 2022, with a few of these messages involving Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Newsweek reported. Others focused Rwandans who’re topic to the UK’s controversial coverage on asylum and immigration, in addition to folks affected by latest flooding in Pakistan that left almost 1,700 useless.

A press release from the Metropolitan Police revealed that the six officers — all of their 60s — had every served time in varied capacities within the power, however notably within the Diplomatic Safety Group, which has since been renamed the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Safety Command, the BBC mentioned. This group deploys officers to guard authorities buildings, embassies and residences, together with the prime ministerial residence of 10 Downing Avenue and the Palace of Westminster, the place parliament sits.

The assertion mentioned the costs observe an investigation by the Met’s Directorate of Skilled Requirements, which was launched in response to an expose by BBC’s “Newsnight” program late final 12 months. The assertion mentioned the officers had been charged with offenses underneath a piece of the 2003 Communications Act.

Commander James Harman, who leads the Met’s Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command, informed the BBC that “the sincere majority of Met officers are absolutely behind this work.” He mentioned “they’re bored with being let down by a minority in policing and they’re conscious of the injury poor conduct can do to our relationship with the communities we serve.”

With regard to Harry and Meghan, this isn’t the primary time that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been the topic of racist messages exchanged by cops, Newsweek reported.

In July 2022, two officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Forensic Providers division had been fired after allegedly racist WhatsApp messages with a former colleague had been investigated, Newsweek reported on the time. One was despatched on the time of Harry and Meghan’s 2018 wedding ceremony, and it confirmed {a photograph} meme of a “golliwog” toy. The “golliwog” toy is a racist caricature of a Black individual, and a caption of the photograph referred to Meghan, who’s biracial. “A sneak preview at Meghan’s wedding ceremony gown,” the caption mentioned.

When these two officers had been fired, one other Met commander, Jon Savell, mentioned on the time: “These vile messages had been shared in 2018 inside a closed WhatsApp group between a small group of officers. I hardly have to say it’s fully unacceptable for anybody, not to mention a police officer, to behave in such a way. The actions of those three are inexcusable.”