A Wiltshire police officer has been given a final written warning after a hearing found his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct.

The one-day hearing, held at Wiltshire Police Headquarters on Monday, January 29 and chaired by an Independent Legally Qualified Chair, concluded that the actions of PC Mark Giles breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour for police officers of authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity and discreditable conduct.

Last April, PC Giles, who was a firearms officer, sent inappropriate, racist messages to a WhatsApp group used by the team he worked in. The messages were directed towards another officer which could cause offence given his ethnicity.

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Deputy Chief Constable Craig Dibdin said: “PC Giles’ actions fell well below the high standards of professionalism that we, and the public, expect from all police officers, staff and volunteers.

“When details of his behaviour were reported to us, he was immediately suspended from his role and an investigation commenced.

“There is no place within our organisation for racist behaviour of any kind. We are fully committed to rooting out and challenging inappropriate behaviour.

“Whilst we have already made steps towards this, behaviour of this nature shows just how far we have to go.

“We will now work with PC Giles to ensure he is aware of the offence and upset his actions have caused and that they will not be tolerated again.”

In December, the Force launched a new Safe2Say Anonymous Reporting System. This is a bespoke internal reporting system which is geared to giving officers, staff and volunteers the confidence to report any wrongdoing, concerns they have or intelligence surrounding our workforce.