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Four PSNI officers suspended over racist text messages

Four police officers in Northern Ireland have been suspended from duty after the discovery of racist and sectarian text messages.

An internal investigation has been launched by the Police Service of Northern Ireland's professional standards department after the allegedly offensive messages were discovered during the course of a separate internal inquiry.

The force said the inquiry would be robust. The four were suspended yesterday.

The PSNI said in a statement: "The Police Service is proud of its reputation for delivering a personal, professional and protective policing service to the people of Northern Ireland and we expect our staff to behave ethically and with the utmost integrity at all times both on and off duty.

"Any officer who fails to abide by the high standards of behaviour expected of all officers as laid out in our code of ethics can expect to be rigorously investigated."