Top Indian-origin police officer appointed in Scotland Yard as interim Chief Superintendent, Parm Sandhu has accused London’s Metropolitan Police of discriminating against her in terms of gender and race. The 54-year-old officer has alleged that she has been denied promotion and work opportunities in her 30 years old career with the force.
She filed a lawsuit after she was cleared of the allegations pertaining to gross misconduct to garner support from her colleagues to get nominated for a Queen’s Police Medal. National Police Chiefs’ Council guidelines state “any person can nominate any other person for an honour” but people are not supposed to nominate themselves, The guardian reported. The honour is awarded twice a year by Queen Elizabeth II as part of her honours’ lists to serving police officers in the UK in recognition of distinguished service or outstanding courage in the line of duty.
“A temporary chief superintendent currently attached to human resources was served with a gross misconduct notice on Wednesday 27 June and has been placed on restricted duties,” said a Met Police statement back then NDTV quoted.
While Scotland Yard confirmed that an employment Tribunal case has come up, the date for it to be heard on hasn’t been finalized yet. “It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage,” the spokesperson said.
In June last year, police conducted an internal probe against her in the case of misconduct of nomination and was placed on restricted duties. This year last month, the investigation concluded that she had “no case to answer” and would face no further action, with restrictions on her duties at work being lifted.
“The Met’s directorate of professional standards began an investigation into the conduct of three officers following an allegation they breached guidelines relating to the UK honours nomination process.
“The investigation concluded in June 2019 and found there was no case to answer for gross misconduct or misconduct in relation to any of the officers. The [discrimination] claim will be heard on a date yet to be confirmed. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.” a Metropolitan police spokesman told The Guardian.
Sandhu won the Asian Women of Achievement public sector award in 2006, for her work in the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 London bombings. She is one among the few female Asian police officers at senior levels across England and Wales. In 2018, there were six Asian chief superintendents and three officers at a higher rank with a majority of men.
The investigation concluded in June 2019 and found there was no case to answer for gross misconduct or misconduct in relation to any of the officers. The [discrimination] claim will be heard on a date yet to be confirmed.
Metropolitan Black Police Association has backed Sandhu’s claim and they believe the lack of senior female ethnic minority officers in Scotland Yard is a matter of concern. Mick Creedon, the former chief constable of Derbyshire Police, who mentored her and gave a statement backing her during the misconduct trial, has offered support for her legal battle, according to the BBC.
While Sandhu joined the forces in 1989, she became borough commander in Richmond-upon-Thames in 2016. In June, 2018, she tweeted that she will be becoming the first woman of colour to be promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent which is when the internal inquiry also began. She also recently revealed on Twitter that once she was called a tea lady at a police meeting that she was chairing.
Love it I went to a meeting this week and got are you the tea lady or charwallah Nope I am the Chief Supt and chair of this meeting https://t.co/NZD1hoJFU9
— Parm Sandhu (@SuptParm) July 5, 2019
Picture Credit- Independent