Officer claims a payout of £457,000 after years of racist abuse

Cleveland Police has been ordered to pay over £457,000 to an Asian firearms officer whose colleagues subjected him to racist abuse.

The Claimant was verbally abused by fellow armed officers. He was the only Asian VIP protection officer, and had guarded George Bush and the Royal Family. He  claimed that the abuse was not properly investigated by the Force, and that the he was discriminated against in his efforts to stay in the unit.

Cleveland Police has been landed with a hefty bill, following a recent remedy hearing. The Officer suffered the racist abuse at the hands of several Officers superior to him. They made various racial comments over several years. This abuse  resulted in the Officer being  unable to continue his career as a police officer. As a result, a remedy hearing granted him the sum of £457,000 for the damage to his career and suffering.

The court agreed that his career had derailed because of the colour of his skin. Importantly, they acknowledged that the police should take steps to give the public confidence that this will not happen in future. The force must ensure thatother Officers will not be subjected to this discrimination.

This case reinforces the position that employers must prioritise reviewing policies and training about equality, diversity, human rights and cultural awareness throughout their organisations.

The question of vicarious liability also arises in this case. It re-enforces the position that employers can face the effects and liabilities because of their employee’s actions.  Employers should have a positive obligation and  ensure that training and policies are sufficiently implemented and communicated throughout the organisation. Employers must be seen to  have taken all reasonable actions to avoid discrimination occurring.