Officer in Sarah Everard search removed from duties for allegedly sharing ‘inappropriate graphic’ on social media

Sarah Everard. Credit: PA

A Metropolitan Police officer who had been involved in the search for Sarah Everard has been been removed from their duties for allegedly sharing an "inappropriate graphic" with colleagues.

The force said a graphic shared by the probationary officer on social media on Friday was reported by a number of officers "who were concerned by its content".

It clarified that content did not contain photos, images of Ms Everard, nor any material obtained from or related to the investigation.

In a statement, the Met said: “Given the context of the officer’s duties at the time, a voluntary referral has been made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct in relation to this matter.

“The PC had been deployed as a cordon officer supporting the search operation in Kent in relation to the murder of Sarah Everard.

“The officer has been removed from these duties and placed in a non-public facing role while inquiries continue.

“The graphic does not contain photographic images, no images of Sarah, nor any other material obtained from or related to the investigation into Sarah’s murder.”

Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said: “The MPS expects its officers to behave professionally at all times and this includes how they use social media. I take allegations that any officer or officers have failed to observe these standards very seriously and have referred this matter to the IOPC.”

Ms Everard’s family have been made aware of the incident, the force said.

The IOPC will also be investigating how serving police officer Wayne Couzens sustained serious injuries while being held in custody on suspicion of murder.

Couzens, who was charged with kidnap and murder last Friday, sustained head injuries on March 10 and March 12 and was treated in hospital on both occasions.

ITV News Reporter Martha Fairlie on the ongoing inquiries into Sarah Everard

Meanwhile in Sandwich, Kent, officers continue to conduct inquiries into Ms Everard’s death.

The allegation against the officer comes as the Met Police is criticised for its handling of a vigil in memory of the 33-year-old marketing executive.

Police officers clashed with crowds gathered on Clapham Common who went missing while walking home from a friend’s flat on March 3.

A woman lays flowers for Sarah Everard at the bandstand in Clapham Common Credit: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick is facing calls for her resignation, but she has rejected calls to do so, saying what happened to Ms Everard made her "more determined, not less" to lead the organisation.

Boris Johnson has also insisted he has "full confidence" in Dame Cressida.

Hundreds of Reclaim These Streets campaigners gathered in Westminster on Monday evening to protest over the Met’s handling of the vigil on Saturday.

People holding banners blocked traffic on Westminster Bridge before moving to New Scotland Yard, shouting “shame on you”.