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Saturday, September 19, 2020

TikTok: Cambridgeshire police officers warned over ‘offensive’ videos

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image captionThe officers posted videos to video-sharing social network TikTok

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.css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Two police officers committed gross misconduct by posting “offensive and inappropriate” TikTok videos while in uniform, a .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}misconduct panel has found.

PCs Amy Taylor and April Cooper of Cambridgeshire Police posted clips of themselves “shouting offensive language” in a police car and dancing inappropriately in a police station.

The officers told the hearing the videos were “to boost morale”.

Both officers were given final written warnings.

Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “There is no doubt in my mind that the clips have damaged the reputation of this constabulary.”

They were reported by a member of the public who had seen the videos and felt they were “unprofessional”.

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‘Insensitive to those suffering’

In one video both officers were in uniform “dancing in an inappropriate way utilising fire marshal tabards”.

In another video clip PC Cooper was seen in uniform shouting “coronavirus” down a phone with the caption “when calling in sick at work and they ask what’s up”.

Chief Constable Dean said in his ruling: “This clip was made in the height of a pandemic which is still ongoing yet you appear to be insensitive to the many thousands who have suffered and the vital role that emergency services and other agencies played in this outbreak, and continue to do so.

“This clearly shows a lack of respect and sensitivity to those that were suffering or indeed their families and friends.

“The respect shown to your colleagues in behaving this way demonstrates a lack of respect for them and a lack of self-control by you both.

“It cannot be said that this was a momentary lapse of concentration.”

The hearing was told the reach of the videos on social media had been extensive before they were taken down.

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.css-po6dm6-ItalicText{font-style:italic;}Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email eastofenglandnews@bbc.co.uk

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