A retired Metropolitan Police detective has accused Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick of ignoring her warnings about a ‘vulgar and sexist’ WhatsApp group similar to that used by Sarah Everard killer Wayne Couzens.
Ex-Detective Superintendent Paige Kimberley claimed she wrote to Dame Cressida shortly after the murder of Miss Everard urging a review of ‘how inappropriate behaviour is addressed amongst contract workers’.
An internal investigation in 2019 took no action against the male officers, saying the messages were ‘distasteful’ but did not amount to criminality or misconduct.
Now Ms Kimberley is set to be compensated after a tribunal ruled a job offer was suddenly withdrawn from her a day after she told her civilian line manager Tatiana Southon about the images.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman told MailOnline: ‘We are currently assessing the details of the tribunal’s finding. We cannot comment further at this time.’
Ex-Detective Superintendent Paige Kimberley had an offer of a new job withdrawn after alerting her manager to offensive messages she had seen shared via the messaging app by Met Police officers
A decorated Metropolitan Police detective has accused Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick of ignoring her warnings about a ‘vulgar and sexist’ WhatsApp group similar to that used by Sarah Everard killer Wayne Couzens
Last night it was reported that Couzens brought a prostitute to a police party at a hotel, while another sex worker turned up at the station he was based in, demanding money
Revealed: 26 Met Police colleagues of killer cop Wayne Couzens ‘have been convicted of sex crimes since 2016’ with two jailed just a month after Sarah Everard was raped and murdered
At least 26 colleagues of evil Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens have committed sex crimes in the past five years, with two jailed for their offences in April this year – just a month after the horrifying abduction, rape and murder of Sarah Everard.
Figures obtained via the Freedom of Information Act reveal that 26 officers from Scotland Yard have been convicted of sex crimes including rape, possessing indecent images of children, and voyeurism since 2016.
Five allegedly carried out sex offences while on duty since 2010, with one officer recruited last year despite having a conviction for indecent exposure.
Detective Constable Mark Collins, 58, was jailed for 26 months in April for sending ‘highly sexualised’ messages to what he thought was a girl aged 13 – but who was in fact an undercover officer.
In the same month, Detective Constable Paul Allgood, 60, was jailed for 22 months for three counts of possessing indecent images of children and three of outraging public decency.
The Sunday Mirror also reported 150 serving officers have convictions for other offences including assault, in a series of revelations that put further pressure on Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick as she faces calls to resign over the force’s failure to identify Couzens as a risk.
Ex-detective and Rochdale child abuse whistleblower Maggie Oliver told the paper: ‘The police service is no longer fit for purpose. I don’t think it’s ever appropriate for a force to employ an officer with a criminal record. It’s just something that should not happen.’
Ms Southon claimed that the 59-year-old ex-detective did not tell her about the images – but the panel ruled that was ‘implausible’ and said she had been told and then withdrew the job offer without explanation.
The tribunal said: ‘We agree with this and we do not condone these messages in any way at all. They are sexualised, derogatory towards women, offensive and completely inappropriate for a workplace. They reflect badly on all those participating in those messages.’
It added: ‘We have considered whether in telling Ms Southon that there was sexually explicit messages in the WhatsApp group which were derogatory towards women and very offensive, the claimant did a protected act? We find that it was a protected act.’
Ms Kimberley was commended seven times during her 32-year-long career with the Metropolitan Police force.
An employment tribunal in London heard she retired in 2013 but four years later she was approached to rejoin the Met as part of its Digital Policing strategy.
She was offered the role as one of its Implementation Managers and the team consisted of retired male senior officers, a serving constable and a civilian IT specialist.
Ms Kimberley said a WhatsApp group was created by the team members so ‘we could keep in touch and assist each other with any problems that arose’, she said – adding that the name of the group was ‘Old Timers plus Dave’.
She said as time went on posts in the group evolved into light hearted conversations between colleagues.
After Ms Kimberley, of Dawlish, Devon, left the role she remained on the WhatsApp group.
‘As soon as I left, I noticed that the language and images being shared within the group began to become graphic, sexual and derogatory towards women,’ she told the tribunal.
She claims her male colleagues were aware she was still in the group but ‘they continued to publish statements, images and videos which were negative towards or about women’ – up to 20 messages a day.
In her statement to the tribunal, Ms Kimberley said: ‘I was shocked and disappointed by the content of these messages.
‘Yet despite their respective responsibilities, and on whose behalf they were working, and being paid reasonably high amounts by the taxpayer, they were still circulating aggressive and inappropriate messages, photographs and videos in a work WhatsApp group including a graphic image of a diseased vagina, messages calling women s**gs and disclosing very misogynistic and sexist attitudes towards women.’
She claimed the Met has shown ‘no willingness to move with the society it purports to serve or feels that it can be held accountable.’
Ms Kimberley told the tribunal that when she was asked to return in September 2019 she did not feel she could until the content of the WhatsApp group had been addressed, and claimed the conduct by the contractors had created a ‘hostile and offensive environment to me’.
After the case, her lawyer Terry Falcao said: ‘This was an important case for Paige as she acted on good faith and with the best motivation to disclose misogynistic and unacceptable sexual conduct from contractors working with a police officer and Met Police staff. This was a protected act.
‘The tribunal accepted her version of events, that she disclosed this conduct to a senior manager in the digital policing unit. This resulted in the withdrawal of an offer to earn a significant sum of money.
Undated family handout photo of Sarah Everard issued by the Crown Prosecution Service
Ex-police chief claims it ‘has taken death of a white woman’ for trust in policing to be addressed after Sarah Everard death as she slams Cressida Dick for Met’s lack of action in tackling misogyny
A former police chief has claimed it has taken the death of a white woman for the issue of trust in policing to be addressed.
Sue Fish, the ex-chief of Nottinghamshire Police, said every woman she knows would have got into the car with the Met Police firearms officer who used his warrant card to kidnap Sarah Everard and then raped and murdered her.
Ms Fish also slammed Dame Cressida Dick for a lack of action in tackling misogyny in the Metropolitan Police, saying its safety guidelines have ‘absolutely no insight whatsoever’.
She rubbished them as ‘completely absurd’ and ‘impractical’ as fury grows at the handling of the Sarah Everard case.
Scotland Yard bosses are believed to remain sceptical about recording misogyny as a hate crime despite the majority of other chief constables backing the move.
Some senior officers are said to think the reform – drafted in March after Ms Everard’s death – is not needed because present legislation is adequate.
Ms Fish’s powerful intervention was echoed by Alice Vinten, who served in the Met for more than 10 years as a constable before leaving the force in 2015.
She hit out at the ‘lads culture’ during her time there and said women were still worried to report concerns about their colleagues.
But she was shot down by former Met Commissioner Lord Blair, who said: ‘It simply cannot be the case that this lads culture of the 1970s is surviving everywhere.’
‘It was concerning there was no proper investigation, that the same workers continued without sanction and the only person who suffered both financially and emotionally was the person who reported the activities.
‘The Met Police Service has sadly shown that actually not much has changed and improved, despite Press releases and pronouncements about their regard for women and equality.’
Ms Kimberley said she wrote to Cressida Dick in March this year about the ‘vulgar and sexist comments that were circulating on the WhatsApp group that one of the contractors (an ex senior officer) has put in place…’
But she said: ‘I sent it recorded delivery. I never got a reply. I also wrote to the Home Secretary Priti Patel but did not get a response. It has cost them an awful lot of money to defend this case and they tried to discredit me.
‘Things got worse. There was racial profiling with a greater expanse of offensive material. But no investigation has ever been done to look at the phones of the people in this group which is really disturbing. This was serious misogyny not a bit of banter.
‘I was proud to part of that organisation, I was 18 when I joined up. But retired male colleagues of mine are saying this is like the bad old days of the 70s and 80s.’
A remedy hearing fixing compensation is due to be held later.
Last night it was reported that Couzens brought a prostitute to a police party at a hotel, while another sex worker turned up at the station he was based in, demanding money.
Couzens took a prostitute with him to a colleague’s tenth wedding anniversary party at the Hilton Hotel in Maidstone, Kent.
A source who was at the party told The Sun: ‘He was quite open about her being an escort. He said, ‘My wife can’t make it so I’ve brought this brass with me.’ ‘
In another incident, a prostitute reportedly turned up at Couzens’ station when he was working in Bromley, South London, and demanded to speak to him because he owed her money. The Eastern European woman refused to leave until she saw Couzens, and he had to be called back from patrol.
The report said he took her to a cashpoint and paid her money, later admitting to colleagues that she was a prostitute.
Embattled Met Commissioner Cressida Dick faced fresh calls to resign over the scandal amid growing demands for a full independent public inquiry. A new YouGov poll found that 38 per cent of people believed Dick should resign, compared with 27 per cent who thought she should stay and 35 per cent who were unsure.
A former senior Met Police officer has called for all police officers to be re-vetted following shocking disclosures about Couzens, who was handed a whole-life sentence last week.
Parm Sandhu, an ex-chief superintendent, told Sky News’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday urgent action was needed to restore public confidence in the police.
‘Everybody who works in policing now should be re-vetted. Those people who got through the vetting procedure 20 years ago, 30 years ago, all of them,’ she said. ‘Every single person needs to be reviewed and if anything comes up in their past – it doesn’t have to be a conviction, it just needs to be come to notice, because this man did come to notice.
‘It needs to be done now as an urgent measure to reassure the public and rebuild the trust and confidence that policing has lost, but it needs to be done on a regular basis so that we don’t have anybody that even comes close to the actions of Wayne Couzens.’
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