Police officers face misconduct proceedings over ‘racist, misogynistic and homophobic’ WhatsApps


Two serving police officers and a former officer are facing gross misconduct proceedings over the alleged sharing of offensive WhatsApps.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) began the investigation in November 2022 after a referral from Gwent Police.

Derogatory and inappropriate messages were found on the phone of deceased former officer Ricky Jones, who spent 26 years with Gwent Police.

His family previously told Sky News they wanted to see a new body established to help those facing domestic abuse at the hands of serving officers.

His widow and daughter said they suffered years of coercive control by him, but felt unable to report it to police due to his links to the force.

His daughter Emma – not her real name – said one of the messages sent between Jones and other officers showed a picture of Grenfell Tower alongside the quote “The Great Muslim Bake-Off”.

Ricky Jones

‘Racist, misogynistic and homophobic’

The IOPC probe looked into the conduct of seven serving and four former officers.

Its investigation concluded last October and the watchdog has found that two serving constables and a former constable have a gross misconduct case to answer.

It said they had exchanged messages which were “of a racist, misogynistic and homophobic nature”.

The gross misconduct hearings will be arranged by the force for later in the year.

Misconduct was proven for three serving officers and they each received a written warning, while another will take part in reflective practice after misconduct was not proved.

No further action will be taken against a further three former officers and a serving officer after the IOPC’s enquiries.

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“The content of some of the messages we examined raised serious concerns about the conduct of those police officers involved,” said IOPC director David Ford.

“We did not find any evidence to substantiate an allegation that Gwent Police tried to cover up inappropriate messages, which might have indicated corruption.

“The evidence showed that the searches police carried out on Ricky Jones’s phone were reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances at the time.”

The IOPC said it had shared its decisions with the family of Ricky Jones.