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Ethnic minorities warned off Met

10 October 07 21:05 GMT

An Asian officer has told ethnic minorities not to join the Metropolitan Police (Met) after winning a claim of victimisation against the force.

Det Sgt Gurpal Virdi, 48, claimed his career had been blighted since being cleared of sending racist hate mail at a police station in west London.

Kingsway Employment Tribunal ruled on Wednesday he had been victimised but rejected a racial discrimination claim.

The Met said it would give "full and careful consideration" to the ruling.

Unanimous judgement

Mr Virdi brought the case after he was turned down for promotion to detective inspector in 2005.

Speaking to BBC London's Guy Smith after the tribunal ruling Mr Virdi said: "I would seriously tell them (ethnic minorities) to reconsider.

"Over the last 25 years people have seen what my career has been like and a lot of other ethnic officers have suffered the same thing."

In its judgement the tribunal panel said: "The unanimous judgement of the tribunal is that [the Met] victimised the claimant."

A statement from Scotland Yard said: "Gurpal Virdi remains a valued member of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and we will continue to provide him with the appropriate support."

It added: "The tribunal was critical of some parts of the appeal process and found that he had been treated less favourably...

"The [Met] is disappointed with this aspect of the finding and will be considering the judgement further.

Mr Virdi claimed he was victimised because of previous litigation against the Met, which meant his application was treated "less favourably".

Compensation hearing

However, the Met maintained Mr Virdi was turned down for the detective inspector job by an appeal panel because he did not have sufficient experience in leading investigations.

He won damages and an apology from the Met in 2002 after he was wrongly accused of sending racist mail to black and Asian officers at Hanwell police station and sacked.

The tribunal ruled Mr Virdi had been "treated less favourably" than someone who did not have a history of litigation with the Met.

"There is no doubt in the tribunal's view that the appeal panel, at the very least subconsciously, was affected by their knowledge of the claimant and of the action he had taken," the panel said.

The tribunal will consider claims for compensation at a future hearing.

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