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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 January, 2004, 15:10 GMT
White officers' race claim denied
Scotland Yard
Scotland Yard is being sued for compensation
A senior officer has denied there was bias against two white officers who accuse the Metropolitan Police of racial discrimination.

Inspector Bill Cole and Pc Ken Anderson say their expense claims were investigated, but those of an Asian officer in their team were not.

The pair say they were moved from their jobs when they took legal action.

But Inspector Nigel Shankster told the Croydon employment tribunal there was no "determination to nail" the pair.

The officers are suing the Metropolitan Police for compensation.

Doctoring mileage allowance

When Mr Shankster, who was the case manager in the disciplinary proceedings at the time, was asked by the officers' barrister Jane McNeill if he thought the case had been dealt with fairly, he replied: "This was a very drawn-out process, at times it seemed to be unfair."

Ms McNeill told the tribunal it was more than three years before it was 100% certain no disciplinary matters would be brought against her clients.

She suggested to Inspector Shankster that it was not conceivable that "a non-white officer, post [the] McPherson [report] would have faced very serious delays and errors in this case."

Criminal investigation

The officer said that "each case is taken on its merits" and had nothing to do with the ethnic origins of an officer.

Mr Cole, 50, from Hertfordshire, told the hearing earlier that their troubles began when he and Mr Anderson, 46, from north London, moved from a posting at the National Police Training College at Bramshill in October 1999.

They were told they faced a criminal investigation for doctoring their mileage allowance and claiming to be a higher rank than they were.

Denied access

But Sergeant Pabla Parminder, who was doing the same job as the men, was not subjected to the probe.

Both officers vehemently denied all the allegations against them, but were put into backroom jobs while the investigation continued.

They were later moved to Scotland Yard's awards and commendations unit.

Mr Cole claimed he was denied access to documents outlining the allegations against him and had personal property, that could have backed up his case, removed by investigators and never returned.

Breach of contract

The tribunal was told that following a meeting in August 2000, for which he was discouraged from bringing his solicitor, he was told the criminal investigation had been changed to a disciplinary investigation.

In October 2001, the policemen took the Home Office, which had been their employer at the training college, to an industrial tribunal in Southampton.

They were awarded compensation for breach of contract over their treatment, but lost their case of racial discrimination.

On the day the result of that hearing was announced, the men were removed from their positions in the awards and commendations department.

The was adjourned until Wednesday




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