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14th Jan 2023

Police officer sacked for messages about ‘dodgy showers’ in Auschwitz

Steve Hopkins

Messages included derogatory remarks aimed at domestic abuse victims, people with disabilities and women

A police officer was sacked for sending horrific messages on a ‘Hate Group’ WhatsApp chat about people lining up for “dodgy showers” in Auschwitz.

PC Daniel Comfort was one of six police officers dismissed after an investigation by the Independent Officer for Police Conduct (IOPC) found them guilty of sending deeply inappropriate and offensive messages.

PC Daniel Comfort, of Norfolk Constabulary, was the most active in the group, with the 47-year-old sending 54 offensive messages that were homophobic, racist and sexist out of the 1,184 total he sent.

The group had various names including ‘**** Hate Group’, named after a mixed-race officer, ‘Boris’s Benders’, ‘Atkin’s Puppets’ and ‘Bottles and Stoppers’.

One message commented on the “dodgy” showers at Auschwitz, the WWII concentration camp, which prompted the comment: “Very popular though. I heard people were queuing up to go in them.”

Examples from the group included derogatory remarks aimed at domestic abuse victims, people with disabilities and women.

Some referred to African children eating flies.

Comfort described one area as “filthy Feltham” due to its diversity and another referred to the “grooming” of young foreign girls by buying them prawn balls.

Other offensive terms used included “mong” and “pikey”.

However, Comfort, who resigned on 27 November before he could be sacked, said he had “not meant to cause offence”.

He also said he should have left the group.

The six officers were found in breach of professional behaviour for discreditable conduct; authority, respect and courtesy; challenging and reporting improper conduct; and equality and diversity.

According to Comfort, the group was first set up to share experiences between him and other officers from different forces including the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

The MPS disciplinary hearing took place on December 9.

The report released recently stated that Comfort “agreed a number of the messages fell below the standard of professional behaviour.

“He pointed out he had challenged the behaviour on one occasion. He accepted that some of the comments should have been reported. He was embarrassed that he failed to do so and apologised.”

Over 400 offensive comments failed to be reported by Comfort or other members of the group.

The serving officers who were dismissed at the hearing were PC Gary Bailey, of the MPS, and Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) PC Matthew Forster.

The former officer’s given dismissal notices including Comfort were Joel Borders, Jonathon Cobban and William Neville of MPS.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “The views expressed by these officers do not belong in a civilised society. “Social media cannot be a hiding place for them whether on a public platform or as part of a private group.

“Behaviour of this kind undermines public confidence in policing and the dismissal rulings by the panel today send out a strong message that it will not be tolerated. We will continue to ensure, along with police forces, that this type of behaviour is rooted out and those responsible are held to account for their actions.”

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