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Met Police accused of discrimination by Asian Officer

Parm Sandhu, one of the most senior female Asian police officers has begun legal action against the Metropolitan Police. She is accusing them of discrimination.

Ms Sandhu claims she was denied work opportunities and promotion because of her gender and race.

The claim comes shortly after Ms Sandhu was accused of gross misconduct due to allegations that she had encouraged her colleagues to support her nomination for a Queen’s Police Medal. The guidelines for the nomination of medals states that anyone can nominate another person for the medal, but they cannot nominate themselves. Ms Sandhu was cleared of allegations.

While the allegations were being investigated Ms Sandhu was placed on restricted duties, but last month investigators concluded that she had no case to answer.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police stated that the directorate of professional standards had begun an investigation into three officers and their conduct after allegation were made that they had breached the guidelines about the UK honours nomination process.

The investigation ended in June 2019, having found that there was no case to answer concerning gross misconduct. Neither was there a case to answer for misconduct in relation to any officers.

The spokesperson went on to say that the discrimination claim would be heard later, and it was not appropriate to comment at this early stage.

BBC News was told that Ms Sandhu had started legal action claiming that based on her race and gender she had been denied work opportunities and promotion. The first hearing is scheduled to take place next week.

Ms Sandhu is of Indian heritage and one of a very small number of female Asian police officers who work at senior levels across England and Wales. In the last year there were six Asian chief superintendents and an additional three higher ranked officers, most of which were male.

Ms Sandhu joined the Met in 1989 and claims that had she not been discriminated against, she would have progressed faster and further over the years she was employed.

Backing Ms Sandhu is the Metropolitan Black Police Association who agree that there is concern about the lack of senior ethnic minority officers.

Acting as her mentor, Mick Creedon, (former chief constable of Derbyshire Police) submitted a statement to the misconduct inquiry and has offered her his support.

A spokesperson for Scotland Yard confirmed that an employment tribunal case had been brought by a senior police officer relating to allegations of gender and racial discrimination.

Friends of Ms Sandhu said that she had been reluctant to start legal action after the force had investigated the allegations that she had encouraged her colleagues to support her nomination for the QPM (Queens Police Medal).

The QPM was introduced in 1954 and is awarded twice a year at the Queen’s Birthday and New Year’s List. It is awarded to serving police officers in the UK and is in recognition for outstanding courage or distinguished service in the line of duty.

In the aftermath of the 7th July 2005 London bombings Ms Sandhu was presented with an Asian Women of Achievement public sector award.

Officers are not supposed to nominate themselves, neither are they meant to contribute to the nomination process.

After being informed that she was under investigation for alleged gross misconduct Ms Sandhu was told that if proven she would be dismissed, and was placed on restrictive duties.

After the conclusion was reached last month that there was no case to answer, her restriction of duties has been lifted. Ms Sandhu was told that she would face no further action.

The Police Superintendents Association, who had supported her through the investigation stated that they were deeply disappointed that the enquiry had gone on for 12 months.

A further two officers, namely an inspector and a detective superintendent were also cleared of misconduct.

Scotland Yard made a statement saying that the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) had investigated the three officers after they had allegedly breached the guidelines for nominations for the UK Honour’s List.

The investigation had been concluded in June 2019 and there was no case to answer for any gross misconduct charges.

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