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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 18:37 GMT
Pay out to would-be policeman
Chief Constable Colin Port
Chief Constable Colin Port has defended the policy
A police force has paid compensation to a would-be officer it turned down due to "positive discrimination".

Ralph Welsman was one of 186 people removed from selection in favour of women and members of ethnic minorities by Avon and Somerset Police.

The settlement means the case will not go before an employment tribunal but it could mean other unsuccessful applicants decide to sue.

Police refused to reveal how much they paid to Mr Welsman, of Bristol.

Mr Welsman applied to become a police officer in 2005, but his application was among 186 from white men vetoed in favour of those from women and ethnic minorities.

'Confidentiality agreement'

Earlier this month, Chief Constable Colin Port defended the force's recruitment policy and the reasons for adopting it.

"Through use of positive action and using the model of the Disability Discrimination Act we intended to recruit officers that more accurately reflect the diverse communities we serve," he said.

The force admitted recently that its policy could have contravened the Sex Discrimination and Race Relations Act.

An Avon and Somerset Constabulary spokesman said it would not reveal how much it had paid Mr Welsman because it had signed a "mutually-binding confidentiality agreement".

"Therefore it would in inappropriate for us to breach this," the spokesman added.

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