It as if the last 30-40 years of societal change and police reforms slipped Hants Constabulary by - or at least some members of it.Did you notice the section at the end? "Oldfield is also accused of attending work after excessive drinking, and DS Willcox is also alleged to have falsely recorded hours and overtime, according to Hampshire police.".
Someone made a complaint, which was serious enough and credible enough to warrant surveillance. Isn't that a Ministerial-level request? You can't seriously be suggesting that covert surveillance is somehow ungentlemanly, or that the Police are somehow immune? "I say, you there, we're going to be watching and listening to you in order to gather evidence against your thieving or terroristing activities, my good man! Worry not, however, we won't look at any personal emails that you send using your official work IT resources, and we'd certainly never listen to your phone calls". Who knows, perhaps the initial allegations were about corruption rather than bigotry, and that's why the surveillance was put in place? It's all hypothetical. Nice to hear that you don't believe that the Det should ever had tried listening in to PIRA... (and before you say "but that's different", this was the SOCU - they had higher security clearances, they were dealing with organised crime, they are primary targets for attempts at compromise).
For it to have got this far, the case against these officers was obviously well beyond the level of "interview without coffee, watch your language, march him out". I know they do a hard job; I know that people deserve the benefit of the doubt. But these don't exactly sound like top-third coppers... and isn't it interesting that there isn't a rentaquote from the Police Federation about how these good, honest, hard-working coppers are being unjustly accused?
Bang to rights, by the sound of it. Impeccable evidence, unacceptable behaviour, no excuse sufficient. Good riddance.