Two police officers from Brighton have resigned from Sussex Police after being told they were about to be sacked for an offensive “selfie” video taken at the Shoreham airshow crash site.
The pair were probationers whose misjudgment prompted outrage inside and outside the force.
Their departure was announced this evening (Tuesday 6 October) by Sussex Police in a statement.
It said: “The Chief Constable of Sussex Police has received a recommendation from Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith that two probationary police officers, investigated in relation to their inappropriate behaviour following the tragic Shoreham air crash, should be dismissed.
“The Brighton-based officers, aged 23 and 24, appeared before Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith on 30 September.
“He assessed the evidence and submitted a detailed report to the Chief Constable this week.
“Both officers have since offered their resignations, which they have a right to do under Regulation 13, and these have been accepted.”
Chief Constable Giles York said: “We, along with the public, expect the highest standards of professional behaviour. An investigation has taken place and I am reassured that Sussex Police has responded promptly and fairly.
“The men, who have less than two years’ service, are clearly remorseful and have acknowledged the impact of what they had done.
“But when it really mattered, the officers failed to show understanding and compassion for the victims and their families.
“I am confident that they would not go on to become well-conducted officers.
“The police service has a national code of ethics that we expect officers and staff to abide by, including showing respect and courtesy.
“Officers and staff can be forgiven for making genuine mistakes but the behaviour of these two officers was inexplicable and caused unnecessary distress to the families of those involved, for which we sincerely apologise.”
The force said that it had used a regulation process specifically for probationary officers in line with Home Office guidance.
It said: “Regulation 13 is in place to protect the public if officers demonstrate behaviours that show they are not suited to the job during their probationary period. Regulation 13 also allows officers to resign during this process.”
Eleven men died on Saturday 22 August when a Hawker Hunter jet aircraft crashed on the A27 by Shoreham Airport. The pilot, Andy Hill, survived.
An inquest into the 11 men’s deaths has been opened and adjourned. Investigations by the police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the Department for Transport are continuing.