Met officer sacked for racist remark in WhatsApp message

A Metropolitan Police Service officer has been dismissed without notice after gross misconduct was found proven at a disciplinary hearing organised by the force.

Following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), PC Harry Chandler, who was based at a North East Borough Command police station, faced allegations he used a racial remark in a WhatsApp text exchange with another police constable regarding which area of London to live in.

The two-day hearing, which concluded on Friday December 17, was told PC Chandler discussed renting a flat when he is alleged to have used the P-word.

The independently chaired disciplinary panel found the case proven that PC Chandler had breached the standards of professional behaviour relating to equality and diversity and discreditable conduct. PC Chandler, who admitted the allegation, will also be placed on the barred list preventing him from future employment within the police service.

Regional Director Graham Beesley said: “PC Chandler’s offensive use of language in his WhatsApp messages came to light while we investigated the photographs taken at the scene of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry’s murders by former Met officers Jamie Lewis and Deniz Jaffer.

“His dismissal today sends a clear message that the use of offensive language, whether on or off duty, is wholly unacceptable.”

Messages from PC Chandler were found on a phone belonging to former PC Lewis during our initial investigation into the sharing of the crime scene photographs. We then received a separate referral from the MPS in 24 July 2020 and completed our investigation in May 2021. Lewis’s failure to challenge the messages was among the allegations put to a recent accelerated hearing organised by the MPS when he was dismissed from the force, following his conviction for misconduct in public office.

IOPC investigators obtained the account of PC Chandler, analysed WhatsApp messages and obtained witness statements.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]