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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Investigation launched into police officers after claims they posted racist comments about gipsies and travellers on secret Facebook forum

An investigation has been launched into claims that Metropolitan Police officers used a secret online forum to air racist views about ethnic groups.
Scotland Yard said 'concerns' had been raised about a Facebook group amid allegations serving officers had posted offensive comments about gipsies and travellers.
Its internal watchdog, the Directorate of Professional Standards, has been investigating the matter since April, it has been revealed.
Investigation: A probe has been launched amid claims Metropolitan Police officers used a secret online forum to air racist views about ethnic groups
Investigation: A probe has been launched amid claims Metropolitan Police officers used a secret online forum to air racist views about ethnic groups
Representatives of the traveller community contacted police in June about the same Facebook group and these complaints were being 'looked at in detail as part of the DPS assessment', according to the spokesman.
Some of the comments were made during a discussion in March about the BBC Trust's decision to clear Jeremy Clarkson and other Top Gear presenters of wrongdoing for their use of the word 'pikey', a derogatory term for travellers, according to The Independent on Sunday.

One comment is alleged to have said: 'I never knew a pikey could be offended. I thought they were devoid of all normal feelings and thoughts … just my opinion based on many years of dealing with these despicable people.'
The newspaper reports that the 'I've Met the Met' group, which has 3,000 members, was for serving and retired officers and run on an 'invite-only' basis meaning only those who have joined can view the content.
Scotland Yard said 'concerns' had been raised about a Facebook group amid allegations serving officers had posted offensive comments about gipsies and travellers
Scotland Yard said 'concerns' had been raised about a Facebook group amid allegations serving officers had posted offensive comments about gipsies and travellers
Concerns were raised by one of its members. 
Yvonne MacNamara, chief executive of the Traveller Movement, described the Facebook comments as 'shocking'.
She told The Independent on Sunday's Chris Green: 'The fact that they are potentially made by serving and retired police officers gives us no confidence at all in the Metropolitan Police's ability to both police these communities and to attract and protect its own staff who are from gypsy and traveller backgrounds.'
A Met Police spokesman said: 'The group administrators have set the privacy settings for the group as "secret" but we understand it to include former and serving MPS officers among its members.
'DPS is assessing the information it has received to determine whether any serving MPS officer or staff may have committed any acts of misconduct and will also look to see if any criminal offences may have been committed.
'Should either be disclosed they will be fully investigated.'

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