Following an investigation by the Scotland Yard, two officers of the Metropolitan Police department were suspended over vile text messages that discussed "raping" crime victims.
The probe was reportedly launched following the discovery of the shocking text messages. Scotland Yard officers also found disturbing videos on a mobile phone of one of the officers in which crime suspects were secretly filmed while in custody and a drunken women was seen sitting in the back of a police car.
The suspended officers — PC Edward Bengree, Heathrow Airport firearms officer, and Detective Constable John Taylor from the Met's elite gangs unit Trident — have been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, Met police reportedly said.
The messages exchanged by the two accused officers included demanding a sex act from someone they described as a "hot slag victim of crime", Daily Mail reported.
That message was dated September 2011, the news outlet wrote, noting that in March the same year, another message showed the duo chatting about Taylor's sex session with a stripper who had been arrested two months earlier. Some messages also reportedly showed the two officers joking about rape.
The alleged crimes came to light after the video and text messages were accidentally handed over to lawyers representing a Surrey businessman in an unrelated case, the news outlet added. The Directorate of Professional Standards was reportedly investigating if other staff members were also involved in the alleged crime.
IBTimes UK, meanwhile, could not independently verify the discovery and the alleged case.
According to the Daily Mail report, in 2016, Bengree had received a bravery award for saving the life of a boy who had stopped breathing. He was once described as a "fantastic example of the values we hold dear within the Metropolitan Police Service" by deputy commissioner Craig Mackey. However, now the officer is being questioned over the abusive and racist messages found on his phone dating back six years.
Taylor has reportedly been suspended for allegedly discussing with Bengree the sexual assault of crime victims in a police van, Daily Mail added.
"If our comprehensive investigation finds that police officers serving within the Met behaved in this manner then it is entirely at odds with what the organisation demands of them, and what the public has the absolute right to expect of them," deputy assistant commissioner for professionalism, Richard Martin, was quoted by The Sun as saying.
"Any behaviour which demonstrates a disregard for the professionalism, respect, courage and compassion that we require lets down the thousands of hard working men and women of the Met, who so richly deserve the support of the Londoners they serve.
"Our officers know only too well what is expected of them. They also know that if they do not maintain the high standard they will be held accountable, potentially charged with a crime, open to prosecution or being dismissed from the service."
Bengree has reportedly denied any knowledge of the videos and text messages while Taylor has declined to comment on the allegations.