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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 12:58 GMT
Cleared officer returns to work
Ali Dizaei
Dizaei was tipped to be the UK's first ethnic minority chief constable
One of Britain's most senior ethnic minority officers is returning to work with the Metropolitan Police after a two-year suspension over corruption allegations.

Iranian-born Superintendent Ali Dizaei was suspended from his 52,000-a-year-job in 2001 following claims that he was involved in drugs, prostitution and theft.

But he was cleared of all charges last month and has now reached a settlement with the police force through arbitration.

It was announced on Thursday that the 41-year-old, from Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, will be seconded to the National Black Police Association (NBPA) from 1 December.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens said: "We are in a position to announce the lifting of Superintendent Dizaei's suspension and his return to work and he will now be able to resume his police career.

Never before in our history have we had so many people from diverse backgrounds seeking to join us
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Carole Howlett

"The investigation of Superintendent Dizaei highlighted some areas where his conduct fell far below the standards expected of a police officer.

"He has already publicly expressed his regret for these and acknowledged the lessons he has learned."

Operation Helios, Scotland Yard's multi-million pound criminal inquiry into Mr Dizaei's behaviour, is to be investigated by officers from another police force.

The independent inquiry, which comes after complaints from the public, will be conducted under the supervision of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA).

Mr Dizaei has accepted criticisms made of him and has agreed to drop any form of action against the officers involved in the investigation.

Boycott threat

Promises of the Met's commitment to Mr Dizaei's "successful re-integration in the service and to re-building of mutual trust" have also been made.

Sir John said: "He also appreciates that the task of securing the confidence of his colleagues rests largely with him and he has agreed a number of measures to facilitate this process.

"Superintendent Dizaei has twice been acquitted of criminal charges and is returning to the Met with his integrity demonstrably intact."

The NBPA had called for a boycott of the police force by ethnic minority recruits as talks over the officer's future broke down.

But the force hopes the settlement will pave the way for closer working relations with the NBPA.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Carole Howlett said: "Never before in our history have we had so many people from diverse backgrounds seeking to join us - it is imperative that everyone pulls together to maintain this momentum in making the Met a police service representative of the public it serves."

The BBC's Daniel Sandford
"Another police force will be investigating the Met on behalf of the Police Complaints Authority"

Exclusive interview with Ali Dizaei
16 Sep 03  |  Newsnight
Officer cleared of dishonesty
15 Sep 03  |  London

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