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DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Vile police voyeurism causes even more pain


It’s impossible not to be horrified by the grotesque behaviour of police officers who shared, via WhatsApp groups, graphic details of the appalling injuries suffered by Valdo Calocane’s victims.

The police are entrusted with protecting the public from harm. By sending sickening messages about those killed in Nottingham to colleagues, family and friends, they have instead caused it.

Such twisted voyeurism is an insult to the three killed in the vicious knife attacks – Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates – and yet another profound betrayal of their devastated families.

One constable has been given a final written warning after being found guilty of gross misconduct. But following this scandal, Nottinghamshire Police’s reputation has hit rock bottom.

The force is already under investigation by the police watchdog over the killings.

A police corden in Milton street in Nottingham on the day Valdo Calocane murdered his three victims

A police corden in Milton street in Nottingham on the day Valdo Calocane murdered his three victims

Paranoid schizophrenic Valdo Calocane, 32, was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order after pleading guilty to three counts of manslaughter with diminished responsibility

Paranoid schizophrenic Valdo Calocane, 32, was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order after pleading guilty to three counts of manslaughter with diminished responsibility

At the time of his calculated rampage, Calocane was wanted for assaulting an officer, yet they had failed to locate him. As a result, three innocent people died. 

This dismal failure was compounded by investigators not bothering to take proper toxicology samples from the killer, which would have shown if he had taken drugs. That could have led to a tougher sentence.

The sharing of explicit information about the victims’ wounds is just the latest disturbing aspect of this case. What makes it worse is this kind of conduct is not a one-off. It is a pattern of police behaviour.

Sarah Everard was murdered by a serving officer known to colleagues in a WhatsApp group as ‘the rapist’. Metropolitan Police officers shared obscene pictures of the bodies of two women murdered in a north London park. The list goes on.

This is not something that happened overnight. A culture of skewed priorities and unacceptable behaviour has grown like a virus over the years.

The cumulative effect is a severe corrosion of public confidence in the police.

Chief constables have pledged to clean up their forces. This shameful case underlines the colossal scale of the task.

Indefensible ambition

One lesson from history is that the best way to keep peace is to prepare for war.

Our adversaries understand deterrence through strength. It is through deterrence that we seek not to fight in the first place.

Any sign of weakness is an invitation for despots to threaten us and stoke conflict.

Given that the first duty of government is defence of the realm, we are entitled to ask if our leaders have fulfilled this obligation.

The answer is an emphatic no. Although funding for the Armed Forces is rising in cash terms, it is hard to argue that it is sufficient to protect our interests in a world growing more volatile by the day.

Only last month Defence Secretary Grant Shapps warned that the world is in a ‘pre-war’ state. Our enemies are rearming.

Only last month Defence Secretary Grant Shapps warned that the world is in a 'pre-war' state. Our enemies are rearming

Only last month Defence Secretary Grant Shapps warned that the world is in a ‘pre-war’ state. Our enemies are rearming

Russia's invasion of Ukraine rages on. Vladimir Putin's regime has threatened nuclear strikes on the West

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on. Vladimir Putin’s regime has threatened nuclear strikes on the West

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on. Vladimir Putin’s regime has threatened nuclear strikes on the West. The Middle East is in flames. And an aggressive China is sabre-rattling over Taiwan.

Yet our military is smaller and less ready to fight than at any time in history. Crippled by a recruitment crisis, a shortage of ships and planes, and wasteful procurement, it seems we’d struggle to defend the Isle of Wight.

So what is the Defence Secretary doing about this? Incredibly, instead of having a laser-like focus on his brief, Mr Shapps is apparently plotting a Tory leadership bid.

The Mail on Sunday reports he spends barely six days a month at the MoD, and takes Tuesday afternoons off to hatch plans. His allies vehemently deny this. But even if it’s only partly true, it would be a disgraceful dereliction of duty to the nation.

With World War III inching ever closer, Mr Shapps should be ensuring Britain has a military our enemies fear – not fighting to further his own political ambitions.



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