Sergeant faced more obstacles to promotion than white colleagues, tribunal hears

A retired police officer was subjected to racial discrimination that prevented him climbing the ranks, an employment tribunal has concluded.

May 14, 2018
By Joe Shine

Zaheer Ahmed, a former sergeant at North Yorkshire Police, faced both “unconscious” and “direct” racism due to his Pakistani ethnicity, Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard.

The force said it would reflect on the ruling and consider what further action needs to be taken.

Mr Ahmed, who had served at NYP for 23 years, told the tribunal he applied for a custody sergeant role twice, but was told he did not have enough experience and was not performing well.

He claimed other less experienced, less qualified, white colleagues were assisted in applying for the role, whereas he was not.

The employment tribunal decided that a white police sergeant who had passed his or her inspectors’ exams would have faced fewer obstacles to progress to the role of inspector than Mr Ahmed experienced.

However, the judgment clearly states that the tribunal had no authority to reach a conclusion on the basis of institutional racism.

Assistant Chief Constable Amanda Oliver said it also recognised the work North Yorkshire Police is doing in its Positive Action Programme to improve the diversity of its workforce.

“The programme has some real momentum behind it, and we will continue to drive it through all parts of the organisation.”

She added: “Racial discrimination has no place in the police service, or in society, and consequently any finding of discrimination is a matter of the gravest concern.

“Policing has come a long way in addressing overt discrimination, but that is not enough. We also have to help all of our officers, staff and volunteers to understand the issue of unconscious bias.

“We want to provide a working environment where people from all parts of the community can thrive, and we can only do that if we have an organisational culture built on fairness for everyone. We are actively working on that.

“North Yorkshire Police employs 44 police officers and police staff from black or minority ethnic backgrounds, and we are absolutely committed to making sure that every single one of those people has every possible chance to thrive in our organisation. I want to assure them, and future recruits, that the findings of this employment tribunal has strengthened our resolve even more.

“We will now reflect on the employment tribunal’s full judgment very carefully and consider what further action needs to be taken.”


Related News

Select Vacancies

Constables on Promotion to Sergeant

Greater Manchester Police

Copyright © 2024 Police Professional