Five Metropolitan Police officers face a disciplinary hearing after messages containing racist, misogynistic and homophobic slurs were discovered on a mobile phone.
The phone also contained videos and audio recordings that police officers may have made of their interactions with members of the public without their knowledge or consent, according to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Others messages suggested that an officer sought to establish a personal relationship with a vulnerable victim they had met while on duty.
The messages exchanged between the officers date between 2009 and 2011 and, according to the IOPC, contain language that could be considered offensive and, in some instances, indicate that the officers hold discriminatory views.
They will face a gross misconduct hearing following an IOPC investigation launched following a tip-off in January 2018.
IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “Our investigation found evidence officers may have breached professional standards by sending inappropriate and offensive messages, calling into question their ability to impartially and properly discharge their duties.
“This type of behaviour has the potential to undermine the public’s confidence and trust in policing.
“We also found evidence that videos had been recorded of interactions between members of the public and police that may have been taken without any consent and for no proper policing purpose.
“I am also deeply concerned that one officer may have pursued an inappropriate relationship with a victim of crime.”
The investigation also discovered that a sixth officer, who will also face a misconduct hearing, had accessed a crime report on the instructions of another officer “for no policing purpose”.