Several photographs have emerged appearing to show trainee police officers blacked up, wearing Nazi uniforms and surrounded by female staff dressed in stockings and suspenders.
The images were posted on a hidden Facebook page set up for officers to reminisce about their days at Ashford Police Training Centre in Kent.
They came to light after an anonymous former officer took exception to the ‘I Survived Ashford Police Training Centre’ page, which also reportedly contained sexist and homophobic jokes and raises serious questions about the behaviour of trainees between 1973 and the centre’s closure in 2006.
The former WPC who brought the Facebook page to light told The Times that as well as sharing controversial images and jokes, many of the 2,000 members were using it ‘almost like a confessional’ to boast about inappropriate behaviour and even occasions where they knowingly broke the law.
Posting on an anonymous whistleblower website, the former WPC said she was ‘infuriated’ by the content of the Facebook page, which she has extremely high security settings making it impossible to view unless an administrator personally invites you to join to page.
As well as posting the images of trainees dressed in Nazi uniforms and wearing black face makeup, she also shared a number of screengrabs of comments allegedly taken from the page.
One posting appears to suggest that part of the training at Ashford was showing potential officers how to take suspects ‘down and alley and sort ’em out’.
Other posts revealed apparent bigoted behaviour among the trainees, with one officer who claims to have been recruited in 1995 responding to a message about popular senior figures by saying his own sergeant: ‘certainly wasn’t the shaved-headed ginger-haired Sgt from Sussex that eventually got the sack for inappropriate gayness!!!’
The former officer went on to say that the page shows the training centre to have been a ‘drink fest and a shag fest’. She added: ‘It’s very much a culture of what happens at Ashford stays at Ashford’.
Among the examples of apparent boasts of engaging in minor criminal behaviour were officers telling stories of stealing beer from the training centre bar, removing signs from doors and throwing bangers off of rooftops.
Other officers reportedly told of driving panda cars to the top of a steep hill, then letting them roll back down without brakes to see how fast they would go.
The former officer wrote: ‘How can the public have faith in a service that allows officers to behave in a way that contradicts their duty’.
The Ashford Police Training Centre closed in 2006 after training officers for the British Transport Police and Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, City of London, Essex, Guernsey, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Jersey, Kent, Norfolk, Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley police forces, as well as the Royal Parks Constabulary from 1973.
A spokesman for the College of Policing said they had no way of knowing if people who have posted on the Facebook page are still serving police officers. He added that many of the pictures appear to have been taken several years ago.
‘As the new professional body for policing, we set standards for the service and the behaviour shown does not reflect what we would expect in modern-day policing,’ the spokesman said.
‘We encourage officers and police staff to use social media as an important tool to engage with communities, gather intelligence and help keep people safe.
‘Each person working in the service needs to ensure their online presence meets the standards expected of them.’
Read the full story at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2552762/Police-Facebook-page-appears-trainees-blacked-wearing-Nazi-uniforms-making-racist-homophobic-jokes.html