McLaughlin: PSNI must act over sexist WhatsApp group

psni policing Sinéad McLaughlin

SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has said the PSNI must act over a WhatsApp group in which serving officers shared sexist messages.

She was speaking after a BBC Spotlight investigation revealed the officers also shared pornographic and racist messages.

A number of the officers involved are currently being investigated for their conduct.

Foyle MLA Ms McLaughlin said:

“I was horrified by the revelations in the BBC Spotlight programme. That serving police officers are sharing material of this kind a group with their colleagues raises serious questions about their behaviour and judgement.

“Sadly, we know that misogyny and sexism is still all too prevalent of our society, but we should expect better from our police officers than to be openly contributing to this scourge. This also reiterates concerns about the current culture within the PSNI when officers felt free to act in this manner, just last year we learned that a number of officers had been subjected to investigation over sexual misconduct.

“Whatever the outcome of these investigations, the PSNI and Chief Constable Simon Byrne need to send a clear message that behaviour of this kind will not be tolerated within our police service. Police officers have a wide range of responsibilities, including coming into contact with and protecting vulnerable people. If the PSNI wants to command the confidence of the people it represents, particularly women, then it needs to deal with the misogynists within its ranks.”


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