Katie Price receives apology from police sacked over ‘offensive’ Harvey messages

Katie Price has received an apology from the Metropolitan Police after two officers and six former colleagues were found guilty of gross misconduct as a result of "discriminatory and offensive" messages in a WhatsApp group regarding her disabled son Harvey Price.

Thursday's court hearing found that seven men and one woman had sent sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic and disablist messages in the group, called "Secret Squirrel Shit", where they also made fun of Katie's son Harvey, 20.

The Metropolitan Police Force's commander Jon Savell has now released an apology to Katie, who is "over the moon" at the verdict, which reads: "I was repulsed and ashamed to read the deeply offensive messages sent by these officers, and I utterly condemn their behaviour. I am deeply sorry to those who have been the subject of such awful, disgusting messages.

"The commissioner has been very clear about our commitment to finding and getting rid of anyone in the Met who has these highly offensive attitudes, and today's result is an example of that.

"I have over 600 colleagues in our professional standards directorate – a team we have significantly grown – whose absolute focus is on this critically important piece of work. We are under no illusion that public trust and confidence in us depends on us re-establishing our integrity and professionalism.

"This is another painful day for us. We know there are more uncomfortable days to come as we turn over the stones and uncover others who corrupt our integrity."

On Friday, Pc Glynn Rees and Officer B, who was granted anonymity, were dismissed by the disciplinary panel at Palestra House in Southwark, central London, following a six-day hearing.

The pair, along with former sergeant Luke Thomas, former acting sergeant Luke Allen and former constables Kelsey Buchan, Lee South, Darren Jenner, and Carlo Francisco, was also barred for life from the police service.

Mr Thomas, Mr Allen, Ms Buchan, Mr South and Mr Jenner resigned from the Met after the messages were unearthed, while Mr Francisco was dismissed in July 2022 for "an unrelated matter" involving "discreditable conduct", according to the force.

Their texts included derogatory comments about Harvey, 20, who suffers from Prader–Willi syndrome and autism, and about a junior female officer known in the hearings as Officer A.

During the court hearing, Legal chairman Christopher McKay described gross misconduct as a "breach of the standards of professional behaviour that is so serious as to justify dismissal".

He found each officer to have committed gross misconduct over their own messages, as well as by "failing to challenge or report" the conduct of others in the group.

Mr McKay said one of the offending officers posted an edited photo in the group chat of Harvey along with a rhyme that "has a racist tone and refers to his disability". He added that the post was a "significant breach of the standard of equality and diversity", "inappropriate and offensive" to Harvey, and constitutes "gross misconduct".

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