‘It’s pure betrayal’: Katie Price says she feels ‘heartbroken’ over claims Met Police officers sent ‘derogatory’ images of her son Harvey in a WhatsApp group chat
- Harvey, 20, suffers from autism and Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes a range of physical symptoms
- He was 14 at the time of the messages, which were allegedly sent between 2016 and 2018 by eight police officers
- Ahead of a misconduct hearing into the allegations commencing on Monday, Katie said she felt ‘betrayed’ by the police officers
Katie Price has said she felt ‘heartbroken’ and ‘betrayed’ after Met Police officers allegedly sent ‘derogatory’ images of her disabled son Harvey on WhatsApp.
The former glamour model, 44, said she felt ‘sick’ after learning a misconduct hearing will take place on Monday.
Harvey, 20, suffers from autism and Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes a wide range of physical symptoms, learning difficulties and behavioural challenges.
He was 14 at the time of the messages, which were allegedly sent between 2016 and 2018 by eight police officers and reportedly included memes and videos.
Ahead of a misconduct hearing into the allegations, Katie said she felt ‘betrayed’ by the force and called for a criminal probe into the alleged messages.
‘Betrayed’: Katie Price has said she felt ‘heartbroken’ and ‘betrayed’ after Met Police officers allegedly sent ‘derogatory’ images of her disabled son Harvey on WhatsApp
Upset: The former glamour model, 44, said she felt ‘sick’ after learning eight police officers allegedly sent ‘inappropriate and derogatory’ images of Harvey in a group chat
She told The Mirror: ‘These are the people who are supposed to be protecting us, people we are supposed to trust.
‘It’s pure betrayal, I was in shock at first, then I felt sick, heartbroken and angry.’
She added: ‘It’s not enough for these people to just lose their jobs if found guilty, if this has happened to a vulnerable adult like Harvey, it will be happening to others.’
Katie went on to say that although she is thankful that Harvey isn’t aware of what has happened, her younger children Princess, 15, and Junior, 17, have been ‘in tears’ over it.
She shares Junior and Princess with ex-husband Peter Andre, while she is also a mother to Jett, nine, and Bunny, eight, from her relationship with Kieran Hayler. She shares Harvey with Dwight Yorke.
According to details of the hearing, the officers allegedly involved are PS Luke Thomas, PC Glynn Rees, former APS Luke Allen, former PC Lee South, former PC Carlo Francisco, former PC Kelsey Buchan, former PC Darren Jenner, and another listed as Officer B.
MailOnline has contacted the Metropolitan Police for further comment.
Scotland Yard has been forced to apologise to Katie over the alleged messages, and she shared an image of a letter detailing the alleged misconduct on Instagram on Friday.
Allegations: Harvey was 14 at the time of the messages, which were allegedly sent between 2016 and 2018 by eight police officers and reportedly included memes and videos
Angry: Scotland Yard has been forced to apologise to Katie over the alleged messages, and she shared an image of a letter detailing the alleged misconduct on Instagram on Friday
The letter, penned by an investigator, detailed the allegations and stated the officers involved will be subject to a gross misconduct hearing.
Alongside the image of the letter, Katie wrote: ‘I feel I need to share this hand delivered letter from the Metropolitan Police.
‘It’s disgusting that police officers from here have felt the need to laugh and use disgusting content on Harvey by creating a what’s app group (sic).
‘I would attend this court day but I’m away. They need to be named shamed and exposed.’
In the letter, which was addressed to Katie and dated January 26, an investigator from the Discrimination Investigation Unit within the Professional Standards Department of the Met Police informed her that ‘a number of Metropolitan Police officers are alleged to have breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour in regards to Discreditable Conduct for being part of a WhatsApp group chat that has posted inappropriate and derogatory images of your son, Harvey Price’.
It is alleged the WhatsApp message group was used to ‘post discriminatory content attacking the protected characteristics of race, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation and sex, in the form of messages, memes and videos’.
Eight officers are concerned in the upcoming gross misconduct hearing. The Met confirmed the hearing is due to commence in West Brompton on February 20 and is listed for four days.
Back in 2021, 13 Met Police officers from two units were investigated for allegedly sharing vile jokes about Harvey.
The officers, based in Bexleyheath and Hackney faced allegations they shared ‘inappropriate material’ on a WhatsApp group and were placed on restricted duties at the time while standards inspectors made inquiries.
A source at the time said the officers were hauled into a meeting with senior command once the messages came to light in March 2018.
Son: Harvey, 20, suffers from autism and Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes a wide range of physical symptoms, learning difficulties and behavioural challenges
‘They’ve been putting sick jokes in there, pictures of black criminals, but some of the worst stuff was taking the mickey out of Harvey Price,’ they said.
What is Prader-Willi syndrome?
Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare genetic condition that causes problems including constant urges to eat food, restricted growth and reduced muscle tone.
Other potential issues include learning difficulties, lack of sexual development and behavioral problems such as tantrums or stubbornness.
The rare condition, which affects one in every 15,000 children born in England, is caused by a defect on chromosome number 15 – and happens by chance.
Because there is no cure, treatment aims to manage the symptoms – with parents of sufferers urged to get their children to stick to a healthy, balanced diet.
Children with the syndrome can eat up to six times more than children of the same age – and still feel hungry.
It was first described in 1956 by Swiss doctors A Prader, A Labhart and H Willi.
‘There are a lot of messages about him, I’m told. These are the people who are supposed to be looking after us and are supposed to be out in these communities.’
Ms Price has previously campaigned for stricter laws to be introduced on trolling and online abuse after Harvey was targeted.
In 2018 she urged MPs at the Petitions Select Committee to introduce a ‘Harvey’s Law’ to make online trolling a crime after describing how trolls hurled racist abuse at Harvey online and even created videos of him.
She said she went to the police over the trolling but said they were left ’embarrassed’ and unable to take cases any further because there was no criminal offence in place.
Speaking about her son, Ms Price said: ‘He is mocked for his colour, his size, I just think they think he is an easy target to pick on.
‘But I’m his voice. I’m here and I’m going to protect him.’
She said the new law would ‘stop deaths and abuse’ and told MPs that tougher action should be a ‘no brainer’.
She said: ‘It’s a joke, I’ve done everything I can – I’ve gone to the police, I’ve reported people – but nothing has been done. It is still being done and it’s getting worse and worse.
She asked MPs: ‘Why is it OK to mock disabled people …the police couldn’t do anything I have tried to get people closed down but it is getting worse. It is getting worse all the time.
‘And it’s not just Harvey I am protecting, I have spoken to other people about it it is so damaging to people.
‘I know you guys (the MPs present at the Petitions Select Committee) all agree with me to….we just have to get the Government to do something about it.’
Hearing: The Met confirmed the officers involved will be subject to a gross misconduct hearing at a centre in West Brompton, London
In 2021, Ms Price launched a new initiative called Track A Troll which would make it a legal requirement to provide verified ID for anyone opening a social media account.
According to the Met, the eight officers will be required to answer allegations that their conduct amounted to breaches of the standards of professional behaviour.
These related to discreditable conduct, authority, respect and courtesy, challenging and reporting improper conduct, equality and diversity and duties and responsibilities.
The Met told MailOnline it was unable to comment due to the upcoming hearing.
A representative for Katie Price was contacted by MailOnline for comment at the time.
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