Female police officer wins compensation after discrimination

Female police officer wins compensation after discrimination 2798

An unnamed female police officer who was subjected to a tirade of abuse and humiliation by colleagues has won a compensation claim.

The police officer said the abuse was wide-ranging and ruined her career, affected her home life and left her unable to sleep.

A tribunal heard the woman suffered abuse and humiliation during her time in an otherwise all-male firearms unit at North Yorkshire police, with one recruiter asking her if she wanted a pink gun because of her gender.

In another incident the police officer was instructed to follow a police dog, which was sniffing bait hidden behind a cabinet. The woman was then asked by an instructor to open the cabinet, which was full of pornography.

Additionally, she was told the team would never have another woman because if they hired another, they would always go to the toilet together.

When the officer went to her supervisors to complain about the regular abuse she faced, they shrugged it off as banter and "sided with the lads", according to her lawyer.

The lack of action taken by the force's management left her feeling isolated and vulnerable, the tribunal heard.

Her lawyer said: "These were very high ranking police officers whose job it was to protect their staff but in this instance failed in their duty, adding insult to injury and rubbing salt in the wounds.

"He [the supervisor] had provided not only assurances but reassurances to the victim that he would investigate, yet nothing was done."

Judges at the tribunal determined she was regularly and systematically abused by her colleagues and awarded her £20,000 for emotional damage.

The woman also alleged she was removed from the firearms unit because of her gender, but judges said there was not enough evidence to back up this assertion and ruled against her claim.

North Yorkshire Police say it accepts the findings and admits not enough was done to protect the officer when she asked for help.

Posted by Chris StevensonADNFCR-1500-ID-801589295-ADNFCR

22/05/2013 17:00