Gross misconduct proven against former Dorset Police Special Constable over offensive WhatsApp messages

Published: 18 Apr 2024

Gross misconduct has been proven against a former Dorset Police Special Constable, following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into offensive messages he shared in a WhatsApp group with colleagues.

Jack Thrumble is a serving Police Constable with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary but was a Dorset Police Special Constable at the time the messages were sent. 

We received a conduct referral from Dorset Police in 2022, which led to our independent investigation and the discovery of the racially discriminatory and offensive language used by PC Thrumble during a conversation relating to a dating app. 

At a hearing carried out at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary headquarters, conducted by an independent, legally qualified chair on Wednesday 10 April, it was determined that the officer had breached standards of professional behaviour relating to authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity and discreditable conduct. The panel gave a sanction of dismissal. 

Our investigators obtained accounts from police officers concerned, reviewed mobile phone downloads, relevant legislation and force policies. At the end of our investigation in October 2023 we advised Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary that PC Thrumble had a case to answer for gross misconduct. The force agreed and arranged the hearing.

IOPC Regional Director David Ford said: “The messages PC Thrumble sent were offensive and racially discriminatory.

“Behaviour of this nature can seriously undermine public confidence in policing. 

“The outcome of this hearing makes clear that the use of offensive language is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Mr Thrumble will also be placed on the police barred list, preventing him from working as a police officer again.

  • Dorset Police
  • Hampshire Constabulary
  • Race discrimination