UK & World News

  • 2 July 2014, 12:52

Met Officer Wins Race Discrimination Case

The Metropolitan Police has said it is "disappointed" an employment tribunal ruled a black female officer had been discriminated against because of her race and sex.

Britain's largest force faces a compensation claim from Carol Howard after a judgment found she was "singled out and targeted" by her boss.

The 35-year-old, a firearms officer in the Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG), brought a claim of discrimination at the Central London Employment Tribunal earlier this year.

The case found the Met "directly discriminated" against Ms Howard "on the grounds of sex and race" between 31 January and 29 October, 2012.

It also concluded her superior, Acting Inspector Dave Kelly, had subjected her to "a course of conduct which was detrimental to her".

The tribunal judgment said within weeks of becoming her line manager Mr Kelly "formed the view ... that the claimant was dishonest and not up to the standard required for DPG".

He was said to have engaged on a course of conduct "that was designed to, and which in fact did, undermine, discredit and belittle" Ms Howard.

The tribunal heard Ms Howard submitted a formal fairness at work (FAW) complaint alleging that she had been subjected to unfair treatment by Mr Kelly in November 2012.

The following day he was said to have approached her and during the exchange he was "shouting at her and waving his hands", with the claimant leaving in tears.

The tribunal noted Ms Howard, from Purley in Surrey, was the only black woman in the unit managed by Mr Kelly.

The DPG provides protection for foreign embassies and missions in London.

It went on: "She was singled out and targeted by him for almost a whole year. On his own admission he had formed a negative view of her from very early on."

The panel also found a detective sergeant appointed to deal with the fairness complaint was asked to delete all references to discrimination and harassment relating to sex or race in a report.

This was done "not because they were not supported by evidence in the report, but because the claimant had brought a complaint of race and sex discrimination in the tribunal", the judgment concluded.

Ms Howard's lawyer Kiran Daurka, from Slater & Gordon, called for a public inquiry into how the Met handles race discrimination claims.

"This judgment is a damning indictment on the Met. (Its) conduct and some of its senior officers towards Carol Howard was deplorable," she said.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We are aware of the decision of the tribunal. We are disappointed at the tribunal's finding in favour of PC Howard.

"The tribunal's decision will now to be given full and careful consideration. We will review the findings, take legal advice and take forward any learning or actions as appropriate."

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