VPD officers caught sending and receiving porn at work: some members have been suspended

(by Andrea Macpherson/Renee Bernard, NEWS1130)

 

Fifteen Vancouver Police members could be disciplined after they were caught emailing porn and other inappropriate content during work hours.

 

An internal investigation has found the material was exchanged between January and September of last year. The rankings of the officers involved include one civilian officer. The others range from corporal to inspector. All of the members who took part are men.

 

Superintendent Jeff Sim says nothing that went around was illegal, but there was a breach of the detachment’s online policy. “The images range from the type you would see in the media every day to the type of images you would have to search for.”

 

“It’s difficult to say, exactly, that an individual was spending half an hour or two minutes a day… it ranges in the amount of images that various members had,” says Sim.

 

“We want our members doing police work, whatever that assignment might be — not sending these types of images on our computers,” he adds.

 

Sim is keeping the descriptions vague, but we do know still photos and movies were involved. Some officers have been written up or suspended. Others may be demoted or transferred.

 

Women’s support group angry with the news


Battered Women’s Support Services is not surprised to hear about this case.

 

“As far as we’re concerned, this is yet one more example of the… sexism and misogyny which is the Vancouver Police Department. Unfortunately, they like to take the approach of ‘deny, minimize and blame,'” says Executive Director Angela Marie MacDougall.

 

She feels this points to a bigger problem within the force. “I understand that one of the members was an inspector — therefore, a leader — that was sharing [the material] on the job. It’s a clear indication of the levels of sexism and misogyny.”

 

MacDougall doesn’t think a slap on the wrist is good enough when they are dealing with issues like public trust and protection of women.

 

Lots of people using work computers inappropriately


Psychologist Joti Samra says now that most people have access to the Internet at some point during work hours, more people are getting distracted by inappropriate websites.

 

“There are some stats that are surfacing, looking at the number of individuals surfing the Net or watching porn in the workplace, and that number is as high as five per cent,” she points out.

 

While looking at inappropriate sites at work is not necessarily a sign that person is addicted to porn, she says millions of people around the world do need that regular fix, to the detriment of their work and relationships.

 

And the more a person becomes dependent on the kick porn provides, much like alcohol or drugs, the higher the risk the addiction will be detected at work.

 

Samra says certain people are susceptible to addictions.  “People who are socially isolated, who have elevated stress levels, or lack other healthy relationships,” she explains.

 

She says a habit is considered an addiction when it’s out of control and starts to affect other aspects of our lives.

 

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