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Investigation into Met Police officers uncovers racism, misogyny and harassment

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The Independent Office for Police Conduct appealed for more evidence and other Metropolitan Police officers came forward with evidence of colleagues involved in bullying, violence towards women, perverting the course of justice and using discriminatory language.

Officers were found to have joked about rape and exchanged offensive social media messages, leading to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to make 15 recommendations.

Most officers investigated were police constables and based at Charing Cross Police Station, the IOPC said.

The Met said it was “deeply sorry”.

In its report, the IOPC said: “We believe these incidents are not isolated or simply the behaviour of a few ‘bad apples’.”

The inquiry was launched in March 2018 into nine linked independent investigations concerning serving police officers from the Met.

Investigations began after an officer had sex with a drunk and vulnerable woman in a room inside a London police station, the IOPC said.

Of the 14 officers investigated, two were dismissed for gross misconduct and put on the barred list, preventing future employment with the police.

Another two resigned and several others faced disciplinary action, the IOPC said.

The watchdog’s findings included:

– Police officers exchanged highly offensive racist, sexist and homophobic messages with claims that it was “banter” becoming a cover for bullying and harassment

-Messages about police officers attending a festival dressed as known sex offenders and a molested child were sent within a WhatsApp group containing 17 police officers

-Details of messages from WhatsApp groups and a Facebook chat group referring to rape including “I would happily rape you” and “if I was single I would happily chloroform you”

-One police officer was referred to as “mcrapey raperson” in a WhatsApp exchange. When officers on his team were asked to provide an explanation for this nickname, one explanation given was that there were rumours about him bringing a woman back to the police station to have sex with

-Evidence of racism including a number of messages with references to African children, Somali people and Auschwitz

-Homophobic language used by officers including one entry that said “f*** you bender”

-Use of derogatory terms about people with disabilities

-WhatsApp messages about domestic violence, plus sexually explicit, misogynistic and demeaning conversations

-Female officers who challenged sexual harassment were told it was part of police culture, that they should accept, “play the game or stay quiet”, or leave

-Police officers on probation were intimidated and threats made to cut their hair and belongings

These comments were dismissed as simply ‘banter’.

What do you make of the findings? Let us know over on socials!

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McDonald’s increases price of cheeseburger for first time in 14 years

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The prospect of a 99p McDonald’s cheeseburger is no more as the fast food giant increases the price of several items on its menu amid the cost of living crisis.

The company is raising the price of its signature cheeseburger for the first time in over 14 years, taking it to £1.19.

It will also add between 10 and 20p to the several menu items it says are impacted the most by inflation.

The chain is one of many companies passing the effect of soaring costs of fuel and ingredients on to its customers, including the consumer goods giant behind the likes of Marmite and Magnums.

Breakfast meals, main meals, large coffees and McNugget share boxes are among the menu items which could become up to 20p more expensive, a spokesperson for McDonald’s told Sky News.

Salads and wraps are unlikely to be affected.

The changes came into effect on today (27th July).

In an email to customers, McDonald’s UK and Ireland CEO Alistair Macrow said: “Some prices remain unaffected, and some will continue to vary across our restaurants.

“We understand that any price increases are not good news, but we have delayed and minimised these changes for as long as we could.”

Mr Macrow added: “Just like you, our company, our franchisees who own and operate our restaurants, and our suppliers are all feeling the impact of rising inflation.

“At times like this, we know that providing great value is important.

“Since we opened in the UK in 1974, we have committed to offering great tasting food at affordable prices, and that commitment will not change.

“But, today’s pressures mean, like many, we are having to make some tough choices about our prices.”

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Calls for Brits to be sent home if workplaces exceed 25°C in heatwave

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Brits have been told to do ‘as little as possible’ as temperatures of 40°C are expected to bring a risk to life, however, for the majority of people who are still required to work, this is almost impossible.

This is why a union is calling for there to be a maximum temperature workplaces can be before staff are able to be sent home.

The GMB Union wants there to be a legal limit on how hot workplaces can be as there is currently no specific temperature which is considered ‘too hot’ to be able to work. They’re also calling for people to be able to wear cooler clothes during extremely hot days, and be given the opportunity to take more breaks.

The GMB Union’s health and safety officer, Lynsey Mann, said: “This hot weather is great for being on a sun lounger, but if you’re trying to work through it’s no joke.

“Bosses need to do everything possible to keep workplaces cool and, more importantly, safe.”

She added: “Workers who are overheating aren’t going to be at their best.”

Instead of noting a specific maximum temperature for workplaces, the official guidance simply states that employers are required to provide a comfortable working environment for their staff.

As outlined by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, businesses have an obligation to ensure that the temperature in the workplace is ‘reasonable’.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) gives advice on how employers should ensure workers are comfortable, including controlling the temperature through the use of air conditioning units or an air dehumidifier.

The Met Office have put a red weather warning in place over the next two days, and have warned people to stay out of the sun, stay hydrated and look out for people more vulnerable to heatstroke.

One of the Met Office’s meteorologists, Steven Keates, told The Telegraph that people should avoid strenuous exercise and unnecessary travel.

In fact, he said that in general we should be doing “as little as possible” over the next two days.

Brits have also been warned that this is not weather to be sitting out in the sun with a drink and having fun with friends.

College of Paramedics chief executive Tracy Nicholls told Sky: “This isn’t like a lovely hot day where we can put a bit of sunscreen on, go out and enjoy a swim and a meal outside.

“This is serious heat that could actually, ultimately, end in people’s deaths because it is so ferocious.”

She added: “We’re just not set up for that sort of heat in this country.”

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UK heatwave: Railway Disruption Warning

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Rail services across the west of England will be significantly impacted by the forecast extreme heat, Network Rail has said.

The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for the area that Great Western Railway (GWR) covers on Monday and Tuesday.

Speed restrictions will be implemented on routes to ensure trains run safely. In an attempt to keep the tracks cool, some railway tracks have also been painted white.

Dan Collins, from Network Rail, said: “We paint them white, it reflects the sunlight, and we’re able to reduce the rail temperatures by up to five degrees.

“In extreme circumstances, we can get something called a track buckle, which is something we want to try and avoid, that’s where the track will move laterally.”

Mr Collins added: “We spend all year preparing for the summer months, to make sure the tracks are safe and as reliable as possible.”

Network Rail said GWR services that do run will be extremely busy with a high likelihood of cancellations and delays. The service warned that journeys would also take longer, with last minute alterations predicted throughout the two days.

South Western Railway also announced it would be implementing speed restrictions, citing concerns of buckling tracks if they get too hot.

A national emergency has been declared, with temperatures possibly reaching 41C (106F) in some areas of the country.

Passengers who choose to travel are being advised to check their journeys and ensure they are well-prepared for the extreme conditions.

People with tickets for travel on GWR services on Monday and Tuesday are being offered to use them to travel on Wednesday and Thursday instead.

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