Former Met officer would have been sacked over offensive text messages

Published: 10 May 2024

A former Met police constable who sent inappropriate and discriminatory text messages to a colleague would have been dismissed without notice had he not already retired.

Colin Stevens faced an accelerated misconduct hearing on Friday (10 May) following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.

We found the messages he had sent and received during another, unrelated independent investigation and, in August 2023, following a conduct referral from the Met, we began an investigation.

It looked at whether any comments made were inappropriate or discriminatory, and whether PC Stevens challenged and/or reported any inappropriate and discriminatory comments he received.

The evidence showed that PC Stevens sent and received offensive jokes between December 2013 and June 2014 which were either racist, misogynistic or made fun of rape.

We found there was an indication the former officer, who was a member of the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Group before retiring in March 2023, had breached the police standards of professional behaviour relating to authority, respect and courtesy; equality and diversity; conduct; challenging and reporting improper conduct.

Mr Stevens did not attend and was not represented at today’s hearing, chaired by assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor. The panel agreed with our findings and ruled gross misconduct was proven.

IOPC Regional Director Charmaine Arbouin said: “These messages, which contained discriminatory comments and views, were unacceptable at the time and remain so today.

“Former PC Stevens ought to have known the expected standards of professional behaviour to uphold when he was a police officer, whether on or off duty.

“This type of conduct can damage the public’s confidence in policing and risks lowering the Metropolitan Police Service’s reputation. It has rightly been decided that he would have been dismissed without notice had he still been serving.”

  • Metropolitan Police Service
  • Discrimination