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Dudley sergeant resigns over racist and homophobic WhatsApp messages

By Jamie Brassington | Dudley | Crime | Published:

A police sergeant who shared racist and homophobic material on WhatsApp has resigned.

Lloyd House the West Midlands Police Headquarters in Birmingham.

Nick Slym shared content deemed "extreme in nature" which brought West Midlands Police into disrepute, a misconduct hearing heard.

Slym, who was based at Brierley Hill and worked as a response officer in Dudley, resigned on November 6 and admitted his actions.

But chief constable Dave Thompson told the hearing: "The former officer would have been dismissed without notice, otherwise."

The hearing was told Slym also "solicited" information from a Lincolnshire-based custody officer, which was not police-related.

"Clearly this was an abuse of his position," said Mr Thompson.

WhatsApp groups

A mobile phone was seized from a prison officer on February 12, which showed Slym was part of two WhatsApp groups, one of which had 21 members.

It was on at least one of these groups that Slym shared racist, homophobic and derogatory content.

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The hearing heard Slym was part of at least one group on the encrypted messaging service for a prolonged period of time.

"It was clear that the witnesses failed to challenge the content of the material or remove him from the group," said Mr Thompson.

"The officer admitted that the conduct took place at times when he was on and off duty."

He added that the content shared was of an "extreme nature".

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The hearing did not provide any further details of what content was shared.

Chief superintendent Chris Todd, head of professional standards, told the hearing: "The actions are a clear breach of conduct.

"This demonstrates he couldn't be trusted to perform his role as an officer.

"He has admitted to receiving and sending content. His actions were intended and deliberate.

"His actions involved accessing confidential information without a police purpose.

"Were the actions known to the public, they would have caused upset to communities."

The hearing concluded that Slym committed gross misconduct in his job.

West Midlands Police accepted his resignation after he handed it in this month.

Speaking on behalf of Slym, who was not present for the hearing, Dave Hadley from the Police Federation said: "He would like to apologise to you all for the behaviour that has caused reputational damage to the organisation."

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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