TWO volunteer police officers have been barred from ever policing with any force or law enforcement agency for gross misconduct.

The special constables, who have not been named "on the basis of medical evidence", would have been sacked had they not resigned prior to a hearing held earlier today (Friday, June 10).

One of the men, referred to as SC Y sent WhatsApp posts, photos, messages and videos which breached disability, race, religion and sex (gender) rules between April 25 2019 and July 11 2021.

SC Z was guilty of the same offences between November 1 2019 and October 27 2021.

It was also concluded that they both failed "to challenge improper conduct" when receiving and having read the messages sent to them.

Gwent Police Chief Constable Pam Kelly chaired the misconduct hearing that found gross misconduct was proven in both cases.

Avon and Somerset Police's Professional Standards Department launched an investigation after numerous discriminatory social media messages were found on their personal mobile phones in a chat between the two of them, which spanned from 2019 to 2021.

Head of professional standards Supt Jane Wigmore said: “The messages shared in a private chat between these two special constables on their personal phones were abhorrent and deeply offensive, and after reading them I felt utterly disgusted and sickened.

“Their actions in no way reflect the hard work and dedication of our volunteers in the Special Constabulary, who also feel hugely let down and ashamed at what’s been uncovered.

“We will not tolerate discrimination in any form and we held this accelerated hearing as soon as possible to ensure they were rooted out of the police service and are unable to serve again.

"There is no place for them in policing, full stop.

“We regularly speak to our officers, staff and volunteers about responsible use of social media and we remain resolute in our ambition to create a culture and environment where discrimination has absolutely no place to thrive.

“We’ve made it clear to all our officers, police staff and volunteers that they have a compelling duty to call out this behaviour when they see it or hear it – whether it’s in person, on a social media message or on a private chat facility, and we have anonymous and confidential reporting channels in place so they can do this.”