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Tribunal finds police victimised female officer
5:35pm Wednesday 19th December 2012 in News
A POLICE force victimised a female officer who was asked if she wanted a pink gun and led towards a stash of pornographic magazines, a tribunal has ruled.
The Central London Employment Tribunal found in favour of Miss M, whose name is withheld for security reasons, in three out of the seven claims she made against North Yorkshire Police following a firearms training course.
The tribunal found the force had subjected Miss M to harassment in respect to “cultural issues” in the firearms unit, discriminated against and victimised her by failing to deal with her complaints and indirectly discriminated against her by failing to supply body armour.
However, the tribunal decided the force did not discriminate over Miss M wanting to take leave to pursue a sport, a firearms assessment or an order from the chief constable and it concluded she had not been adversely affected by whistleblowing.
It is understood the tribunal will not be publishing the reasons for its decisions to avoid disclosing sensitive details about firearms training and tactics.
A hearing earlier this year was told while serving as a firearms officer, Miss M was told that female officers did not have loud enough voices to shout during operations and that two should never be paired together because they would need to go to the toilet at the same time.
During training at disused buildings, she was ordered to follow a sniffer dog to a cabinet with hardcore pornography which her instructor, laughingly described as “gentlemen’s relish”.
At the end of a recruitment day, a training inspector asked her: “Would you like me to get you some pink guns?”.
After the judgment was released, Miss M’s solicitor, Damien Kelly, questioned whether the force had wasted taxpayers’ money on battling the allegations at a tribunal.
He said: “She is a well-liked officer and has colleagues supporting her, but the tribunal’s findings against the force are tinged with sadness as she had wanted to be a firearms officer.”
A hearing to decide how much compensation the force will pay to Miss M, who is still a serving officer with North Yorkshire Police, will be held in the new year.
A spokesman for the force said: “It is important to stress that the case has not been determined wholly in favour of one party or the other.
“As the case is not yet concluded, it is not appropriate to make any further comment.”
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