Sussex

Shoreham air crash officers 'filmed selfies'

Plane crash Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Eleven people died in the crash on the A27 in Shoreham last month

Two police officers being investigated for gross misconduct after the Shoreham air crash filmed themselves near the scene, it has been revealed.

Olivia Pinkney, Sussex Police deputy chief constable, said the officers, who are new in service, were working on the cordon some distance from the scene.

She said the video did not show details of the site but a message attached to it was inappropriate and offensive.

She said families of the victims were disappointed to learn of the incident.

Eleven people died when a vintage Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the A27 during the Shoreham Airshow on 22 August.

'Families let down'

Ms Pinkney said the force had apologised to the relatives and had admitted the families had been caused unnecessary distress.

The footage and message were sent on social media to a colleague who reported the pair, she said.

"Those officers have let themselves down, of course, but most importantly they have let down the 11 families of the local men who died that day," Ms Pinkney said.

The police chief said she had thought about suspending the young constables, who are still in their probationary period, but she said she wanted them to "keep their shoulder to the wheel".

The officers, based in Brighton, have been assigned duties away from the public.

Ms Pinkney said the allegation impacted on everyone affected by the crash and detracted from the professionalism of hundreds of colleagues.

She also said she was disappointed and upset by having to investigate two colleagues over the incident.


The victims:

Image copyright BBC/Sussex Police/Facebook
Image caption (Top row, left to right) Matt Jones, Matthew Grimstone, Jacob Schilt, Maurice Abrahams, Richard Smith. (Bottom row, left to right) Mark Reeves, Tony Brightwell, Mark Trussler, Daniele Polito, Dylan Archer, Graham Mallinson
  • Matt Jones, a 24-year-old personal trainer
  • Matthew Grimstone, 23, a Worthing United footballer who worked as a groundsman at Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Jacob Schilt, also 23 and also a Worthing United player, was travelling to a match with Mr Grimstone
  • Maurice Abrahams, 76, from Brighton, was a chauffeur on his way to pick up a bride on her wedding day
  • Friends Richard Smith, 26, and Dylan Archer, 42, who were going for a bike ride on the South Downs
  • Mark Reeves, 53, had ridden his motorcycle to the perimeter of Shoreham Airport to take photos of the planes
  • Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove was an aircraft enthusiast and had learnt to fly at Shoreham airfield
  • Mark Trussler, 54, is thought to have been riding his motorcycle on the A27
  • Daniele Polito was travelling in the same car as Mr Jones
  • Graham Mallinson, 72, from Newick, was a keen photographer and retired engineer

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