Two Cambridgeshire police officers have been found guilty of gross misconduct.

PC Mark Coteman and PC Oliver Austin were found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour in respect of equality and diversity, discreditable conduct, challenging and reporting improper conduct, integrity and authority, respect and courtesy.

The special case hearing, held yesterday at Lysander House in Station Road, Tempsford, concluded that PC Coteman be dismissed without notice while PC Austin was given a final written warning.

In a separate hearing held yesterday afternoon, PC Coteman was also found to have breached Standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of Discreditable Conduct which concluded he be dismissed without notice.

The second hearing follows charges for PC Coteman, for offering to supply class C drugs, fraud by false representation and causing a computer to perform a function to secure/enable unauthorised access to a programme/data.

Coteman pleaded guilty to all three charges on April 16 and is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday (May 20) for sentencing.

Chief Constable Nick Dean, who chaired the accelerated misconduct hearings, said: “The public would expect that officers act with the utmost professionalism.

"We operate in an environment where the scrutiny of what we do, both on and off duty is constantly under question and rightly so.

"In this case harm has been caused to the reputation of the Constabulary, the police service and importantly it has dented the trust and confidence that the public have in police.

“The messages were offensive, inappropriate and contained content that was racist, misogynistic and offensive. Their actions were against the professional code of conduct that we expect officers to adhere to.”

Referring to PC Coteman’s second hearing, CC Dean added: “Any officer committing a criminal offence causes harm and in this case it is beyond question that such harm has been caused.

"His actions were deliberate, pre-meditated and planned. My determination is that the least severe outcome that deals adequately with the issues whilst maintaining public confidence is dismissal without notice.”