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Officer barred from policing following misconduct hearing

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A former officer who committed gross misconduct by sending WhatsApp messages implying colleagues late to a briefing would be treated differently because they were of Black heritage would have been dismissed if he was still in post, a misconduct panel has concluded.

DC Simon Jones will now be barred from holding any position in policing or other law enforcement agencies.

A second former officer, DC Robert Corry, who failed to challenge the messages, was found to have committed misconduct.

The outcome follows a two-day hearing for the men, who were former officers based in Bristol. DC Jones had retired prior to the hearing taking place, while DC Corry had resigned.

The hearing was in front of a panel, led by a Legally Qualified Chair who is independent of policing.

A mobile phone was seized from DC Jones during a separate investigation being led by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). On the phone, investigators found a conversation thread exclusively between him and DC Corry which contained the comments about two colleagues, who are of Black heritage. The messages were all sent on 1 April 2020.

Following the hearing, Assistant Chief Constable Will White said: “The impact on the two officers who were at the centre of the messages has been significant. This has had a profound and lasting impact on them.

“Racism has no place in our service. I hope that today’s outcome shows them that the wider organisation is committed to driving out racism and bad culture and will not tolerate behaviour of this kind. It’s a clear signal to everyone who works for Avon and Somerset Police that racist views, comments or behaviour go against everything we stand for and expressing these views in any forum is wholly unacceptable, damaging and will not be tolerated.

“It also shows the importance of being an upstander, and challenging these unacceptable behaviours when they are seen or heard.”

The full outcome has now been added to the misconduct section of our website