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‘Horrendous, sexist, homophobic and vile’ abuse of senior police officer condemned by Met chief

Britain’s most senior police officer has condemned “horrendous personal, sexist and homophobic” comments aimed at a newly-appointed assistant chief constable.

Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said on X on Saturday that the post announcing commander Karen Findlay’s, move from the Met to the British Transport Police (BTP) had been “targeted by online trolls, many anonymous, making horrendous personal sexist and homophobic comments.

“I am angry. My colleagues are angry. It isn’t acceptable and it’s happening too often.”

Reflecting on the wider issue of the online abuse officers face, Mr Rowley said: “The intensity of the racist, sexist, and homophobic abuse directed at police officers on social media is increasing alarmingly.

“At a time when we need to attract officers from under-represented parts of our communities this is hugely damaging.”

The commissioner added: “It is wholly unacceptable that those whose profession is to protect and serve others increasingly face such intrusive, vile and hateful abuse.”

He urged people on social media to “reflect on their actions”, insisting that his colleagues “deserve better”.

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Ms Findlay, who has more than 30 years’ policing experience, herself condemned the “homophobic, sexist vileness” in a post on X on Saturday, calling for her appointment to be judged on “professional experience, contribution and commitment”.

She reposted a statement made by BTP’s chief constable Lucy D’Orsi, which said: “I have been shocked to see how many people took our post, which was celebrating the appointment of a senior woman in policing, as an opportunity to respond with vile, nasty, and homophobic messages.”

Ms D’Orsi added that although she was “disgusted” by the replies, the post will remain up on X to “spotlight the misogyny that women in policing continue to face”.

Other senior officers also weighed in on the issue.

Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, Matt Jukes, replied to Ms Findlay’s post, calling it “infuriating to see the misogyny this has prompted”.

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​​​​Met assistant commissioner, Pippa Mills, said: “The wave of congratulations from colleagues are testament to Karen’s reputation. The disgusting sexist and homophobic comments from a few anon accounts don’t dignify a response.”

College of Policing CEO Andy Marsh, said “the abuse comments she’s [Ms Findlay’s] faced are not acceptable.”

Some commentators criticised the forces’ defence of Ms Findlay, calling it “embarrassing” and telling the authorities to “grow a backbone”, and dismissing her appointment as “box-ticking”, the Daily Mail said.

Ms Findlay, a rugby coach and former Scottish international, oversaw the policing of the King’s coronation and the Queen’s funeral and had an important role in the security operation for the 2012 Olympics.

She was appointed Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in last month’s New Year Honours.

Sky News Source