Katie Price says 'I tell my kids police will protect you' as inquiry heard officers joked about son

1 month ago Daily Mail

Katie Price has said she is 'shocked and upset' over alleged derogatory comments about her son Harvey in a WhatsApp group which contained Metropolitan Police officers - as a panel heard an officer said a colleague who 'once got away with rape' was a 'legend'.

The 44-year-old TV personality was speaking after the first day of a misconduct hearing was told officers in the South East Command Unit posted comments that were allegedly sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic and 'applauded sexual violence against women'.

Eight serving and former officers face the gross misconduct hearing after allegedly being part of the WhatsApp group, entitled 'Secret Squirrel Shit', between May 2016 and June 2018.

Price said she was shocked because 'we look up to police officers to protect us and I teach my kids to say that police will protect you'. 

After seeing the remarks, Price told ITV News on Tuesday: 'I've got some comments here and some are just too shocking to say.

'There's one here which has a horrible swear word in, it says: 'For a swear word, he can't see and can't find his way to the fridge and a biscuit jar with little difficulty.' That's mocking Harvey again for him being born blind.'

It comes after the panel heard that in another conversation, one of the officers referred to a male police officer who 'once got away with rape' and said he was 'a legend in my eyes'.  

Former glamour model Katie Price's disabled son, Harvey, 20, was frequently mentioned on the group Former glamour model Katie Price's disabled son, Harvey, 20, was frequently mentioned on the group

Former glamour model Katie Price's disabled son, Harvey, 20, was frequently mentioned on the group

Price has described another 'disgusting' message referencing Harvey, who has Prader-Willi syndrome and autism.

She said: 'It's shocking, it's shocking, and it upsets me. It really does upset me but I have to be strong because I've got five children and the other four will read and know about this and I have to be strong for Harvey.

'What I'm shocked about is we look up to police officers to protect us and I teach my kids to say that police will protect you.

'I do respect a lot of police out there (they) really, really do. They do an amazing job, but to be let down by people like this.'

The hearing is due to conclude on Friday and Price said she wants an apology from the force and Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley once it has concluded.

Former Sergeant Luke Thomas, former acting Sergeant Luke Allen, former Pc Kelsey Buchan, former Pc Carlo Francisco, former Pc Lee South, former Pc Darren Jenner, Pc Glynn Rees and Officer B, who has been granted anonymity, faced a gross misconduct hearing at Empress State Building in Fulham, west London, on Tuesday.

The eight officers are subject to three allegations of gross misconduct and are also alleged to have breached standards of professional behaviour in relation to equality and diversity, authority, respect and courtesy, challenging and reporting improper conduct and discreditable conduct.

Thomas, Allen and South admit gross misconduct for all allegations.

Francisco admits gross misconduct for the first allegation and misconduct for the other two.

Rees and Buchan admit misconduct for all allegations.

Officer B denies the first allegation and admits misconduct for the second and third allegations.

Jenner has not engaged with the misconduct hearing and the police have taken that to mean he does not admit either misconduct or gross misconduct.

TV personality Katie Price was speaking after the first day of a misconduct hearing TV personality Katie Price was speaking after the first day of a misconduct hearing

TV personality Katie Price was speaking after the first day of a misconduct hearing

A police sergeant made racist jokes about Price's disabled son Harvey and told colleagues he wanted to call his dog 'Auschwitz' in a 'toxic and abhorrent' WhatsApp group for Met officers, a misconduct panel heard yesterday. 

Other comments and content shared in the group referred to disabled people as 'm**gs' and made derogatory comments about travellers and people of east Asian heritage.

Former glamour model Price's disabled son, Harvey, 20, was also frequently mentioned. Price was sent a letter detailing the misconduct claims before the hearing, which she shared on her Instagram account on Friday.

All eight officers are subject to three allegations and are said to have breached standards of professional behaviour in relation to equality and diversity, authority, respect and courtesy, challenging and reporting improper conduct and discreditable conduct.

The first allegation concerns comments and posts made by officers in the WhatsApp group, the second relates to comments about a female colleague, Officer A, and the third is in relation to the officers failing to report the content.

Thomas, who was the highest ranking officer in the WhatsApp group, faces an additional allegation of failing to adequately supervise his team and legitimising the 'derisory chat' as team sergeant.

As a result, he is further accused of breaching standards of professional behaviour in relation to duties and responsibilities.

Only Rees and Officer B attended the hearing yesterday. 

Daniel Hobbs, representing the police, detailed specific comments made by Thomas, the most senior officer at the time.

The former sergeant accepted the comments he made were forms of misconduct that accumulatively amounted to gross misconduct, the panel heard.

Thomas made several posts about Price's son Harvey.

Price described another 'disgusting' message referencing Harvey, who has Prader-Willi syndrome and autism Price described another 'disgusting' message referencing Harvey, who has Prader-Willi syndrome and autism

Price described another 'disgusting' message referencing Harvey, who has Prader-Willi syndrome and autism

Price was sent a letter detailing the misconduct claims before the hearing, which she shared on her Instagram account on Friday Price was sent a letter detailing the misconduct claims before the hearing, which she shared on her Instagram account on Friday

Price was sent a letter detailing the misconduct claims before the hearing, which she shared on her Instagram account on Friday 

In the letter, which was addressed to Price and dated January 26, an investigator from the Discrimination Investigation Unit within the Professional Standards Department of the Met Police informed her that 'a number of Metropolitan Police officers are alleged to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in regards to Discreditable Conduct for being part of a WhatsApp group chat that has posted inappropriate and derogatory images of your son, Harvey Price'.

The disciplinary panel heard that Thomas referred to Harvey in the WhatsApp group and mocked his weight.

Mr Hobbs further detailed comments Thomas made about Officer A, a junior female officer who was assigned to their team for a period of time, calling her 'f****** ugly'.

Thomas also referred to Officer A as 'it', the panel heard.

In a separate conversation, Thomas suggested to the WhatsApp group that he name his dog 'Auschwitz', 'Adolf' or 'Fred' or 'Ian' after 'my two favourite child sex killers'.

Elsewhere, Thomas referred to a black Police Sergeant being disciplined as 'the biggest threat of him ending up back in chains,' the hearing was told.

Referring to a 'blind man' who once boarded a train he was on, former Police Thomas wrote in the chat: 'Poor c**t* I hate the thought of being blind. I would prefer being in a m**g scooter for the rest of my life.'

Mr Hobbs explained that what Thomas meant in his reference to a 'm**g scooter' was a wheelchair. 

Thomas also once described an officer on his team who was completing training as 'a chubby holocaust survivor'. He defended his description of his colleague by saying it was only said in order to 'express how ill the officer looked'.

Mr Hobbs added the offensive comments were made 'purely for their own infantile enjoyment' and that none of the behaviour was reported or challenged by any of the officers at any time in the two years between May 2016 and June 2018.

The Secret Squirrel S**t WhatsApp group was finally investigated after it was reported in March 2021.

In response to the comments, the panel heard that Thomas acknowledged that they were inappropriate.

Mr Hobbs said the officers fostered a 'toxic, abhorrent culture' and that their actions are so serious as to justify dismissal.

The misconduct panel heard the group of police officers were attached to a 'safer neighbourhoods' team based in Bexley, in the southeast of the capital The misconduct panel heard the group of police officers were attached to a 'safer neighbourhoods' team based in Bexley, in the southeast of the capital

The misconduct panel heard the group of police officers were attached to a 'safer neighbourhoods' team based in Bexley, in the southeast of the capital

The misconduct panel heard the group of police officers were attached to a 'safer neighbourhoods' team based in Bexley, in the southeast of the capital.

Mr Hobbs says both officers still serving in the Met should be dismissed, and insists that all eight of the officers should be placed on a police barred list, preventing them from ever serving again.

Mr Hobbs said: '[The officers] never thought that their comments would be seen.

'They thought the Secret Squirrel S**t WhatsApp group was theirs and theirs alone, and would go no further. They put that forward by way of mitigation; that approach holds no water.

'The constant use of profanities was stock and trade of the officers. This was a police team that lacked any effective leadership.

'It was a toxic, abhorrent culture made by these officers. It is a team that was sexist: women were called 'fat birds', 'silly sl**s' and 'sp**k rags'.

'They were also racist. In a conversation about a holiday resort, one officer posted, 'Lots of blacks, though' as an apparent drawback to the destination.

'There were offensive videos of people with disabilities. One showed a person with no arms and no legs, masturbating with a coat hanger.' 
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