Firearms officer ‘secretly filmed sex and shared video with colleagues’

Posted: 9th March 2023

Course: The Guardian

A firearms officer who allegedly secretly filmed himself having sex with two women before sharing the footage online with his colleagues is under criminal investigation, it has been reported.

The West Midlands police officer was said to have filmed the encounters at a Christmas party without the women’s knowledge before sending the videos to members of his team via social media, Channel 4 News said.

The programme said 10 West Midlands police officers and staff members also allegedly shared offensive and derogatory material on social media. An internal inquiry centring on the firearms unit is under way and some of those under investigation have been removed from frontline firearms duties.

The former victims commissioner for England and Wales, Dame Vera Baird, called for the officers to be suspended immediately while investigations continue, and insisted it was “no longer at all appropriate” that police are able to carry out their own vetting.

“These attitudes don’t develop in a vacuum where they would be actively discouraged,” she said. “I think we’ve seen … whole cultural problems about sexuality in particular, and this has a bit of an inevitability about that, really.

“I think there are very serious problems about vetting. There have been so many errors made by so many forces that have culminated in men who should never have been in the force in the first place being looked at in exactly this way.

“It seems to me it is no longer at all appropriate that the police should carry out their own vetting. It should be done, in my view, with the intervention of some outside people.”

Jess Phillips, the Birmingham Yardley MP who is shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, echoed these views, telling the programme: “What is the standard for vetting, disciplinary, suspension in these instances?

“For too long in West Midlands police, as well as in pretty much every police force across the country, we have seen cases where officers accused either through the criminal process or the employment processes of the police have been put on light duties, for example. It’s just not appropriate.”

West Midlands police told the programme there was no place in policing for misogynistic, discriminatory behaviour and that they are working hard to ensure predatory individuals are not only rooted out of the force but that vetting is strengthened to ensure that they cannot join the force in the first place.

Categories: News