Norfolk police officer under investigation following Sarah Everard case

ndg-policeman

The Norfolk police officer is under investigation due to messages found during the investigation into Sarah Everard's murder. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk police officer is under investigation over allegations they sent discriminatory messages over WhatsApp between March and October 2019, and for claims they failed to challenge the messages.

The police officer, alongside another from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, were under investigation over allegations they sent discriminatory messages over WhatsApp between March and October 2019, and for claims they failed to challenge the messages.

The investigation was started after the mobile phone messages were discovered during the police investigation into Sarah Everard's murder.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has said it will aim to conclude investigations into officers' conduct linked to the Sarah Everard case "as swiftly as possible".

The police watchdog has issued an update on several investigations, which also include a criminal probe into two officers and one former officer with the Met who allegedly sent discriminatory messages as part of a WhatsApp group.

Sarah Everard, 33, whose body was found in Kent Woodland on March 10.

Sarah Everard, 33, whose body was found in Kent Woodland on March 10. - Credit: PA

The IOPC said it will also soon decide what further action will be taken against a police constable on probation - who ended up staffing the cordon in the search for Ms Everard - who was investigated for gross misconduct for allegedly sending an inappropriate image over WhatsApp about the case while off-duty.

Two other constables on probation were also investigated over allegations they shared the graphic and failed to challenge it. The watchdog's report and conclusions have been passed to the Met.

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Findings will be published when a final decision has been made on what action will be taken against another group of officers amid allegations they shared details of the interview Couzens gave under caution.

The IOPC said criminal or gross misconduct investigations do not necessarily mean that charges or disciplinary proceedings will follow.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: "We cannot provide updates for some of our investigations linked to Couzens, which are ongoing, but following today's sentencing (of Couzens), we will look to bring those matters to a conclusion as swiftly as possible. We are, however, able to provide information about others, including those that are either concluded or nearing completion."

A Norfolk Constabulary spokeswoman said: “We’re fully co-operating with the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) in the course of their investigation.

"We can confirm the officer has been suspended from duty while the allegations are under investigation.

"The IOPC are leading this investigation which is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

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