FIVE officers from Dorset Police have been suspended over allegations over ‘discriminatory’ WhatsApp messages.
An investigation has been launched into the five police officers after a report about the allegations was made to the force’s Professional Standards Department in July 2022.
Dorset Police say a referral was made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) at the “earliest opportunity”, but the case was handed back to them for a local investigation.
The force said it is “right to show openness and transparency” and that it is doing “everything possible” to deal with the matter.
A Dorset Police spokesman said: “A report was made to Dorset Police’s Professional Standards Department in July 2022 about alleged incidents of discriminatory conduct by a number of officers on a single WhatsApp group.
“A proactive referral was made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) at the earliest opportunity, and it was referred back to the Force for local investigation.
“Five police officers have been suspended from duty while this investigation is carried out.
“It would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage, but is only right that we show openness and transparency with our communities and will provide an update on this matter as soon as we are able to.
“We wholly appreciate the concern our communities will have regarding alleged discriminatory behaviour within Dorset Police, and we would like to reassure them that we will do everything possible to ensure the matter is dealt with effectively and in a timely manner.”
An IOPC spokesperson said: “We received a referral from Dorset Police in July this year concerning alleged discriminatory conduct by a number of officers on a WhatsApp group.
“Having assessed the referral, we decided the force should continue with their local investigation into the allegations.”