A Wiltshire Police officer who sent racist messages to a WhatsApp group has been allowed to keep his job.

PC Mark Giles, who was a firearms officer, sent inappropriate, racist messages to the group used by the team he worked in.

The messages, which were sent in April 2023, were directed towards another officer which could cause offence given his ethnicity.

A misconduct hearing was held internally and PC Giles was 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, February 5, and was chaired by an Independent Legally Qualified Chair.

It was concluded that the actions of PC Giles breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour for police officers of authority, respect and courtesy, equality and diversity and discreditable conduct.

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 and we will take all necessary steps to actively and appropriately deal with those whose behaviour falls below the standards we expect.

“I am committed to working with those within our organisation of diverse backgrounds as part of our aspiration to be a truly anti-racist service.

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

“We must call out racist or discriminatory practices to create a more inclusive culture and we must support victims of unacceptable and abhorrent behaviour for the benefit of our colleagues, and ultimately for our communities.

“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 an 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.