West Yorkshire PC rejected for racist and misogynistic messages
An officer has been dismissed for his involvement in a WhatsApp conversation in which racist and misogynistic messages were exchanged, a police watchdog said.
PC Louis Hepplestone has been sacked from West Yorkshire Police by the force for serious misconduct.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said Hepplestone betrayed “the values he should have upheld as a police officer”.
At the hearing, he admitted sending and responding to offensive messages.
West Yorkshire Police said Heppleston also admitted not reporting letters he had received.
The IOPC said the investigation looked into letters sent and received by Hepplestone, who was based in Kirklees.
The IOPC said: “We received a referral from the force after a separate IOPC investigation found evidence of disturbing telephone messages between Hepplestone and a colleague.”
“As part of the separate investigation, messages were obtained from the phone of detention officer William Lloyd Hughes.”
Lloyd Hughes was sentenced earlier this year Due to offensive posts on social mediaincluding racist material and a photo of masked armed men carrying flags of the Ulster Defense Association, a paramilitary group banned in Northern Ireland.
The IOPC said the messages began before the two officers joined the force.
Emily Parry of the IOPC said Hepplestone would be banned from working in the police in the future.
“PC Hepplestone was part of a conversation in which vile and insulting messages were sent,” she said.
“His failure to challenge blatant racist views or make a joke about rape was a complete betrayal of the values he should have upheld as a police officer.
“Such behavior undermines the efforts of the vast majority of officers, who work incredibly hard in difficult circumstances to keep us safe.
“That’s why it’s so important that colleagues challenge such views and report them wherever they encounter them.”
Speaking after the hearing, Det Ch Supt Nicola Bryar, of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, said: “There is no place in the police for the abhorrent attitudes shown in the messages that have come to light as part of this investigation.”
He added: “By failing to challenge racist and misogynistic language, the officer has discredited the standards expected of him.”