A RETIRED Met Police officer from Bournemouth has been charged with sending grossly offensive racist messages.

Anthony Elsom, 67, is among six former Met Police officers who has been charged with sending grossly offensive racist messages on WhatsApp, the force said.

The allegations come after a BBC Newsnight investigation in October last year.

Elsom, of Bournemouth, has been charged with three counts of sending by public communication grossly offensive racist messages. He retired from the Met in May 2012.

The six men have been charged by post with offences under the Communications Act 2003. They are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, September 7.

Commander James Harman, who leads the Met’s Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command, said: “As soon as we were made aware of these allegations we acted to launch an investigation. I am pleased that following the determined work of officers we have been able to secure these charges.

“We are working relentlessly to rebuild the trust of the public which has understandably been dented by a number of high-profile incidents and investigations in recent years which have involved officers or former officers.

“The honest majority of Met officers are fully behind this work. They are tired of being let down by a minority in policing and they are aware of the damage poor behaviour can do to our relationship with the communities we serve.

“I recognise announcements about the outcome of our investigations may have the potential to cause further public concern, but I hope it demonstrates our absolute commitment to investigate any corrupt and abusive behaviour from the Met.

“I hope the public will recognise that we are determined to take the necessary measures to investigate any wrongdoing wherever we find it.”