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James Berry appears in Met Police WhatsApp case

12th December 2022

James Berry represented the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Chief Constables of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and Norfolk Constabulary in a significant misconduct hearing concerning the involvement of six serving police officers in a WhatsApp group that was used to exchange highly offensive, racist, sexist and homophobic messages.

The WhatsApp group came to light when the seventh member of the group referred to as PC A was arrested for unrelated offences. Three members of the group had been prosecuted for offences under the Communication Act 2003 with two convicted and one acquitted. The misconduct hearing concerned all six officers and over 400 messages deemed to breach the Standards of Professional Behaviour.

The independent misconduct hearing panel found all six of the officers’ conduct amounted to gross misconduct and either dismissed them or found that they would have been dismissed had they not already resigned.

This is thought to be one of the first hearings conducted on a joint/regional basis involving officers from three police forces.

The case attracted significant media interest: The Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Daily Mail.

James Berry appears in the most serious police misconduct proceedings and appeals and judicial review proceedings concerning police discipline and regulation.

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