New assistant police chief target of 'nasty and homophobic' abuse

Commander Karen Findlay received an onslaught of abuse on X, formerly known as Twitter.

New assistant police chief target of ‘nasty and homophobic’ abuse Getty Images

Senior police officials have condemned the “nasty and homophobic” comments made on social media aimed at a newly appointed commander.

Karen Findlay received an onslaught of abuse on X, formerly known as Twitter, following her appointment as assistant chief constable at the British Transport Police (BTP).

Among the congratulatory messages regarding Findlay’s promotion were a number of “vile nasty, and homophobic messages”, said BTP chief constable Lucy D’Orsi.

CC D’Orsi took to social media to condemn the messages, and offer support to her colleague who she called an “exceptional” leader and public order commander.

Findlay responded to D’Orsi’s post adding that the “misogynistic” comments are “not okay, and nor is being silent on them”.

“As female officers and staff colleagues, within policing and in any other job, our professional experience, contribution and commitment should be the focus,” commander Findlay added.

CC D’Orsi said in her statement: “Yesterday, British Transport Police posted to announce Karen Findlay as our new assistant chief constable.

“I have been shocked to see how many people took our post, which was celebrating the appointment of a senior woman in policing, as an opportunity to respond with vile, nasty, and homophobic messages.

“Karen is an exceptional leader and public order commander with over 30 years of experience – I am disappointed her achievements aren’t the focus of the conversation.

“Although I am disgusted by the replies, I have decided to leave the post up to spotlight the misogyny that women in policing continue to face. But ignoring it would not reflect my values or the values of the force.

“In policing, we understand the value of public scrutiny; we welcome conversations about policing, actions, and how we can improve. But let me be clear, I will not accept bullying.”

Metropolitan Police commissioner sir Mark Rowley said he and his colleagues were “angry”.

“It isn’t acceptable and it’s happening too often,” he said.

The commissioner added that the “intensity of the racist, sexist, and homophobic abuse” aimed at police officers online is “alarming” and can be damaging when the force is trying to recruit officers from under-represented parts of the community.

Commander Findlay is a former international rugby player who played for Scotland’s women’s national union team, and she also coached the women’s Harlequins team for five years.

She has also been awarded the King’s Police Medal, and played a key role in a team that worked on security for the London 2012 Olympics.

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