Met Police officers who compared Meghan Markle to golliwog in Whatsapp group sacked from force

PC Sukhdev Jeer and PC Paul Hefford were both dismissed after a tribunal found them guilty of misconduct for sharing “vile” sexist, racist and homophobic messages on Whatsapp.

Two Met Police officers have been sacked for posting “vile” sexist, racist and homophobic messages in a Whatsapp group, including comparing Meghan Markle to a golliwog.

PC Sukhdev Jeer and PC Paul Hefford - forensic officers in Tower Hamlets and Hackney - were dismissed without notice after a tribunal found them guilty of gross misconduct.

The pair were part of a Whatsapp group, along with disgraced former PC Richard Hammond, which shared messages, memes and other content which was “inappropriate, highly offensive and discriminatory”.

Scotland Yard said the messages - which were from December 2017 to 2018 - were sexist, racist, Islamophobic, homophobic and ableist.

One image from the group showed a golliwog toy, which was captioned: “A sneak preview at Meghan’s wedding dress.”

Advertisement

The misconduct panel heard that PC Jeer posted an image of a young boy in a hoodie captioned as a “monkey in the jungle” and superimposed with an image of a penis.

PC Hefford superimposed the same image with a disabled person.

While the tribunal heard former PC Hammond sent a “discriminatory message” about Tower Hamlets.

WARNING: OFFENSIVE IMAGE BELOW

Commander Jon Savell said: “These vile messages were shared in 2018 within a closed WhatsApp group between a small group of officers.

Advertisement

“I hardly need to say it is completely unacceptable for anyone, let alone a police officer, to behave in such a manner. The actions of these three are inexcusable.

“The whole of the Met is focused on rooting out anyone who displays this type of behaviour and lets down the Met and the public we serve.

“Behaviour like this will absolutely not be tolerated and we are driving that message home to our officers and staff at every opportunity.”

The messages were uncovered when PC Hammond’s phone was examined in an police investigation into a motoring offence.

Last year, the firearms officer was convicted of perverting the course of justice for pressuring his girlfriend to lie about a speeding ticket, and received a 18-month suspended prison sentence.

WARNING OFFENSIVE IMAGE: A golliwog doll from Harrods in the 60s. They are incredibly offensive towards black people. Credit: Chaloner Woods/Getty Images

Advertisement

Hammond was sacked from the police in November 2021.

At the Whatsapp group tribunal, the officers were charged with breaching police standards of professional behaviour in respect of discreditable conduct, equality and diversity and challenging and reporting improper conduct.

The panel found this was proven at the level of gross misconduct for PC Jeer and PC Hefford and at the level of misconduct for former PC Hammond.

The officers also faced an allegation at the level of misconduct that they each failed to challenge or report the other members of the group for their behaviour.

This allegation was proven for PC Jeer and PC Hefford. It was withdrawn for former PC Hammond.

Advertisement

Ch Supt Marcus Barnett, who leads policing for Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said: “I joined the command unit in 2019 and since then I have listened to the community to understand what their concerns are and what we, as their service, need to do to earn their trust and respect.

“This repulsive behaviour understandably damages that trust and I want to apologise to every single member of the public we serve in this area.

“These officers have, rightly, been sacked. I do not want any officer who would engage in this sort of behaviour anywhere near your community. I will be personally emailing everyone who works at Central East to reinforce the message that words matter, respect matters, and every time someone sends this sort of message they cause real hurt.”

PC Jeer and PC Hefford will now be barred from employment from any policing body in the country.

Scotland Yard said that every Met employee has been spoken to about responsible use of social media, absolute adherence to professional boundaries and actively intervening and challenging wrong doing.

This has been reinforced several times, including via an email from the Commissioner to all officers, the force said.