According to the Guardian, a detective from the Metropolitan police was convicted of sending discriminatory messages through WhatsApp, but has been permitted to retain her position.
Victoria Teagle, a detective sergeant, was under scrutiny for the texts she sent to her former significant other. The partner ultimately brought them to the attention of the police’s professional standards team.
A hearing took place earlier this year and recently ended with a conclusion that the detective’s actions did not meet the expected standards of professional behavior for police officers, specifically in regards to conduct, authority, and respect.
The results of the case had not been disclosed to the public.
The Met has confirmed that Teagle has been found guilty of gross misconduct by a disciplinary panel and has been given a final written warning that will last for three years.
Serious wrongdoing can result in immediate termination and inclusion on a blacklist that prohibits future employment in law enforcement.
The choice to allow Teagle to remain in his position has sparked anger within certain members of the police force, who feel that it goes against the commitments made by Met commissioner Mark Rowley to eliminate discrimination within the department.
The disciplinary panel, led by an impartial chair with legal expertise, made the decisions regarding Teagle.
According to Rowley, independent chairs may be more forgiving than police chiefs, and the government is altering regulations to remove them from overseeing disciplinary panels.
The messages that were sent in 2021 allegedly included a racist comment directed towards an Asian coworker, disrespecting her Chinese background.
The comments were discussing a coworker of Teagle’s who was a part of the police team and served as a detention officer.
According to a statement from the Metropolitan Police, an officer has been given a final written warning for sending racist messages to a colleague. The decision was made following an investigation by the Directorate of Professional Standards.
“DS Victoria Teagle, based on the North Area Command Unit, appeared before a four-day gross misconduct hearing where she was found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of discreditable conduct and authority, respect and courtesy.
In January and April of 2021, Teagle sent multiple messages through WhatsApp to a coworker in which she continuously used a derogatory and discriminatory term when referring to another colleague.
The DPS was notified of these issues in November 2021 and January 2022, resulting in Teagle being assigned to restricted duties.
“After the hearing on Friday, October 27th, she was issued a written warning that will remain in effect for three years.”
The president of the National Black Police Association, Andy George, expressed his concern that the decision made had a negative impact on policing. He stated that he was disappointed by the three-year final written warning given to DS Victoria Teagle for sending multiple racist texts via WhatsApp to her ex-partner, who reported the messages as a witness.
This is only one instance among several similar cases that have recently emerged and contradicts the principle of having zero tolerance towards racism in law enforcement outlined in the National Police Chiefs’ Council race action plan.
We are troubled by the implication this conveys to other members of the service and urge for stronger measures to be taken in holding racist individuals within the ranks responsible. This is especially important considering the unequal treatment often faced by those from black, Asian, and minority backgrounds.
We must do more than just recognize these unfairnesses; we must actively strive to remove those among us who fail in their policing duties and hinder our efforts to ensure the safety of all communities.