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Police officers who posted videos on TikTok "damaged constabulary reputation"

Two Cambridgeshire police officers have been given a final written warning after posting "numerous" TikTok videos of themselves in uniform and on duty.
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The Cambridgeshire police officers, Amy Taylor and April Cooper, were both given a final written warning (Photo: John Baker)

A member of the public reported a series of "unprofessional" videos made by police constables Amy Taylor and April Cooper, of Cambridgeshire Police, to the force in April this year.

The officers were subsequently subject to a disciplinary hearing, where they were found to have committed gross misconduct. 

In one clip posted on the TikTok social media platform, both officers were seen dancing in an "inappropriate way utilising fire marshal tabards" in full uniform in a police station.

Another video showed the officers in a police vehicle "shouting offensive language".

Chief Constable Nick Dean said that there were "numerous" clips posted to TikTok.

He said: "These videos, which I have seen, range from dancing, in uniform in a police station whilst on duty, to being within a marked police vehicle, in uniform, on duty, using offensive language."

In another clip, posted with the caption "when calling in sick at work and they ask what's up", PC Cooper was filmed in uniform shouting "coronavirus" down a phone.

In reference to this clip, Mr Dean added: "This clip was made in the height of a pandemic which is still ongoing yet you appear to be insensitive to the many thousands who have suffered and the vital role that emergency services and other agencies played in this outbreak, and continue to do so.

"This clearly shows a lack of respect and sensitivity to those that were suffering or indeed their families and friends.

"This brings the service into disrepute and damages public confidence.

"You did not treat the public or your colleagues with respect or courtesy."

Mr Dean said he accepted that the officers' "motivation was to boost morale" but stated that "some of the clips presented cannot in any way be seen to do this".

He said that the reach of the videos on TikTok had been "extensive" before they were taken down.

Mr Dean concluded: "I accept that in hindsight that you both have accepted that you did not consider the wider implications of your actions at the time, however there is no doubt in my mind that the clips have damaged the reputation of this constabulary."

A misconduct panel found that the actions of both officers amounted to gross misconduct and a final written warning was given.